NATO chief urges Germany to discuss plan to remove US nukes
Guido Westerwelle's liberal FDP party insists that nuclear demilitarisation be included in the agenda of Merkel's new governing coalition.Brussels -- NATO will discuss Germany's ambition to rid the country of all US nuclear weapons, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday, expressing hope that the move will not be made unilaterally.
"I hope that any step that will take place in the alliance in a multilateral framework and that no unilateral step be taken," Rasmussen said at NATO's headquarters in Brussels.
"This is a question which concerns all allies. It's a question of overall security and defence," he added following talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
Germany's new ruling coalition will call for US nuclear weapons to be removed from the country's territory, according to a document seen by AFP.
"We will ask the (Atlantic) Alliance and our American allies to withdraw American nuclear weapons from Germany," a copy of the document said.
Westerwelle, an advocate of nuclear demilitarisation in his country, said it was natural that there should be "political discussion and public debate on our nuclear strategy.”
Westerwelle's liberal FDP party insists that the measure be included in the agenda of the coalition government it has formed with the Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to an expert, 18 US nuclear warheads remain in German after the withdrawal in 2004 of 130 atomic bombs.