Poland wants to join U.S. ballistic missile defense system

Poland's new prime minister said Monday his government has opened a public debate on whether the nation should allow Washington to install an anti-ballistic missile defense base on its territory.

The government said in its program, adopted last week, that it would like Poland to be covered by the U.S. Missile Defense Initiative, an element of the so-called Star Wars defense system, protecting against nuclear missile attack.

"We have opened a public debate on the issue," Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz told a news conference. "We will take no decisions that would be bad for Poland."

Speaking earlier on state radio, he confirmed reports that for three years Warsaw has been talking with Washington about the possibility of hosting such a base.

"This is an important issue for Poland, related to our security and to our cooperation with an important ally," the AP quoted Marcinkiewicz as saying.


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