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Iran blasts US missile shield plans at Central Asian summit

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Iran blasts US missile shield plans at Central Asian summit


There have been distinct anti-Western overtones at a summit bringing together China, Russia and four Central Asian states. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation agreed on closer energy ties and to play a bigger role in helping Afghanistan.

But the denunciation of a planned US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe by guest of honour Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made most headlines.

Like Iran’s leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin objects to the project.

While not naming the US directly, he said world security issues should be unified, adding:
“Any attempts to solve global and regional problems unilaterally are hopeless.”

The group unites a region rich in oil and gas reserves, coveted by energy-hungry Western countries.

Members met in Kyrgyzstan, which is home to a US military base. Protests there have called for Washington to pull its 1,200 troops out of the country.

Those attending the summit meanwhile are now heading to Russia to watch their own unprecedented joint military exercises.

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