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Poland satisfied with NATO strategic rethink: minister

by Staff Writers
Warsaw, Poland (AFP) Nov 13, 2010
Poland is satisfied with NATO's strategic rethink, which alliance leaders are scheduled to sign off on at a summit next week, Defence Minister Bogan Klich said Saturday.

"The planned new strategic concept in its current version meets the expectations and interests of Poland," Klich told a session of NATO's parliamentary assembly in Warsaw.

The assembly, which brings together 260 lawmakers from the 28-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, gathers twice a year to debate security policy and international affairs.

The Warsaw meeting comes ahead of a summit of leaders of NATO nations on November 19 and 20 in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

Participants in the five-day Warsaw session which began Friday are focusing on the new NATO strategy, which rethinks issues from disarmament and deterrence to cyber-security and counter-terrorism.

They are also scheduled to debate the NATO mission in Afghanistan, as well as the alliance's missile-defence plans which have angered Moscow.

Klich noted that the new strategy also reaffirmed the importance of NATO cooperation with Russia, which has been rocky since the end of the Cold War two decades ago. The alliance has riled Moscow by expanding behind the former Iron Curtain.

"We have good means for cooperation. We shouldn't change them. We should use them better," Klich said.

Poland broke from the crumbling communist bloc in 1989 and has become a key NATO player since joining in 1999.

Warsaw has long had difficult ties with Moscow, although this year has seen a thaw in the wake of an air disaster in Russia that claimed the lives of Poland's president Lech Kaczynski and 95 other Poles in April.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev is due in Lisbon during the NATO summit, for talks with his US opposite number Barack Obama.

Besides lawmakers from NATO states, dozens of deputies from non-member states are also taking part in the Warsaw assembly, mostly from would-be alliance members in the ex-communist bloc.

As at previous sessions, Russian lawmakers are also attending for closed-door talks with their NATO-member counterparts.

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