U.S. President George W. Bush is pushing NATO to "finish the fight" against extremists in Afghanistan, and is urging Russia to drop opposition to a planned U.S. missile shield in Europe.
In remarks prepared for delivery at a NATO summit Wednesday, Mr. Bush warns that extremists will re-gain footholds in Afghanistan and use them to terrorize the Afghan people if NATO fails to act decisively.
The president also voices unwavering support for bids by Ukraine and Georgia to join the NATO alliance. He says both countries should be allowed to begin formal steps leading to alliance membership.
Looking to weekend talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Bush said the need for missile defense in Europe "is real" and "urgent." Russia has voiced strong opposition to the planned missile shield, which would see missile interceptors deployed in Poland and guidance radar in the Czech Republic.