German foreign minister wants US nuclear arms out of country

11th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

According to Der Speigel, the weapons are "militarily obsolete" and "should be withdrawn from Germany" in the view of Steinmeier, a Social Democrat minister in the ruling coalition.

Berlin -- German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier wants the remaining US nuclear weapons in his country to be removed as they are obsolete, a magazine reported Friday.

According to Der Speigel, the weapons are "militarily obsolete" and "should be withdrawn from Germany" in the view of Steinmeier, a Social Democrat minister in the ruling coalition.

"The withdrawal of this kind of weapon should be a theme at the forthcoming disarmament conference proposed by the United States," the magazine quotes Steinmeier as saying.

His remarks follow a speech in Prague by US President Barack Obama in which he suggested that efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation should be relaunched with the aim of achieving a world "without nuclear weapons".

Steinmeier's remarks also coincide with the traditional Easter demonstrations in which for more than 30 years anti-nuclear protestors have shown their opposition to nuclear weapons.

The United States pulled most of their nuclear weapons out of Europe in the 1990s when the Cold War ended.

But Der Spiegel says that about 100 are still positioned in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Germany has never been a nuclear power.

In a statement Friday Steinmeier welcomed moves by Washington and Moscow in the field of disarmament.

"For the first time in years we have today the chance to find a new point of departure for international disarmament," he said.

"We welcome and support the recent declarations by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev (of Russia) with a view to a massive reduction in their nuclear arsenals", he added.

He called on the US Senate to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, saying that it would make possible the relaunch of multilateral disarmament negotiations.

The minister also urged the United States and Russia to resolve their dispute over an anti-missile shield to be based in central Europe.

AFP/Expatica

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