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NATO chief welcomes U.S. missile defense

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - NATO's top official says the alliance welcomes President Barack Obama's revamped plans for a missile defense system in Europe and hopes to bring it fully into NATO.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the system Obama envisions, which is meant to defend the West against future threats from countries like Iran, would provide Europeans and Americans with protection against a "real threat."

He spoke to reporters Friday after U.S. Secretary Robert Gates briefed NATO defense ministers on Obama's plan to reconfigure the Bush-era missile defense system.

Fogh Rasmussen said NATO will work with the U.S. to incorporate the system fully into NATO.

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