The United States should remove its nuclear weapons from Germany, that country's foreign minister said in remarks published Friday (see GSN, July 21, 2008).
The United States pulled most of its nuclear weapons from Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but roughly 100 bombs are still spread across Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, Der Spiegel reported. Other estimates have put the remaining number of weapons higher.
Germany has never possessed its own nuclear arsenal.
In an interview with the magazine, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the U.S. weapons "militarily obsolete," Agence France-Presse reported.
"The withdrawal of this kind of weapon should be a theme at the forthcoming disarmament conference proposed by the United States," he said, referring to a meeting proposed by President Barack Obama.
"For the first time in years we have today the chance to find a new point of departure for international disarmament," Steinmeier said in a statement Friday. "We welcome and support the recent declarations by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev (of Russia) with a view to a massive reduction in their nuclear arsenals" (see GSN, April 1).
Steinmeier also urged the United States to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and resolve a dispute with Russia over a planned European missile shield (see GSN, April 6; Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, April 10).