Saturday, October 6, 2012

4 US warships to head to Spain as Madrid joins NATO missile shield

Source: Press TV

Four US warships equipped with missile interceptors and Aegis defence systems along with 1,400 American military personnel are set to be deployed at a US naval base in Rota, southern Spain by 2013.

The Spanish government made the announcement on Friday after sealing a deal with the US to participate in NATO’s anti-missile shield.

According to a statement by the government, Spain authorized the signing of the deal at a cabinet meeting on Friday.

"Its principal activity will be to contribute to defending against ballistic missiles," the statement said.

Following the decision, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference that the deal would help boost the economy in the region.

This comes as the left-wing political coalition in Spain has leveled criticism at the move, saying it makes the country “a military target.”

Leaders of the 28-member NATO alliance expressed their support in 2010 for the Europe-wide ballistic missile shield.

The system will later expand to include land-based interceptors in Romania, Poland, Turkey and The Netherlands.

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