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France Welcomes Russian, German Leaders For Summit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is meeting his counterparts from France and Germany for a summit expected to focus on security issues in the northern French coastal town of Deauville.

The leaders of Russia and Germany are coming to France for a summit in the coastal town of Deauville in northern Normandy at the invitation of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

European security issues are expected to be among the top issues on the agenda during the two days of talks on October 18 and 19 between Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In particular, reports say the French and German leaders may try to encourage their Russian counterpart to cooperate in the creation of a potential new missile shield, covering NATO member countries, that would be aimed at protecting against possible ballistic missile threats from a country like Iran.

Moscow has previously strongly opposed U.S. plans to set up a smaller missile shield in some parts of Europe, calling such a shield a threat to Russian national security.

NATO is expected to discuss a potential European missile shield at a summit in Lisbon in November. EU officials are expected to encourage the Russian president to attend that summit.

compiled from agency reports