Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama scraps missile defense shield plans

(CNN) -- The United States has suspended Bush-administration plans for a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, officials from both countries said Thursday -- a move likely to please Russia, which had fiercely opposed the plans.

A U.S. delegation held high-level meetings Thursday in both Poland and the Czech Republic to discuss the missile defense system. While the outcome of the meetings wasn't clear, officials in both countries confirmed the system would be scrapped.

Czech Prime minister Jan Fischer said in a statement that U.S. President Barack Obama told him in a Wednesday phone call that the United States was shelving its plans. Fischer did not say what reason Obama gave him for reconsidering.

A spokeswoman at the Polish Ministry of Defense also said the program had been suspended.

"This is catastrophic for Poland," said the spokeswoman, who declined to be named in line with ministry policy.

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