Berlin brushes off US 'no' - seeks UN seat

16th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 July 2004 , BERLIN - The German government Friday brushed off a report quoting a US diplomat as saying Washington would block Berlin's bid to win a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. "The German government stands by its position that the United Nations Security Council should be reformed," said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's deputy spokesman, Hans Langguth. He added: "Germany is ready to take up its responsibility as permanent member of the UN Security Council." Langguth side-stepped

15 July 2004

BERLIN - The German government Friday brushed off a report quoting a US diplomat as saying Washington would block Berlin's bid to win a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

"The German government stands by its position that the United Nations Security Council should be reformed," said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's deputy spokesman, Hans Langguth.

He added: "Germany is ready to take up its responsibility as permanent member of the UN Security Council."

Langguth side-stepped a report in the Financial Times Deutschland, the paper's German language edition, quoting an unnamed US diplomat as saying Washington did not want Germany in the Security Council.

"Now is not the right time for Germany to seek a permanent seat," said the diplomat as quoted by the paper.

Schroeder has in past months intensified longstanding German calls for a permanent Security Council given his country's status as the world's third biggest economy.

Germany - currently a non-permanent rotating Security Council member - and permanent member France were major opponents of the Iraq war. Ties between Schroeder and U.S. President George W. Bush were frosty during the conflict but have improved over the past year.

Nevertheless, there appears to be considerable anger in the US over German manoeuvrings at the UN in the months leading up to the war.

Germany's ambassador to the UN, Gunter Pleuger, is disliked in Washington, the report said and the diplomat was quoted as calling him a "nit-picker."

DPA

Subject: German news

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