In These New Times

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Merkel’s Government to Seek Withdrawal of U.S. Nuclear Weapons

Posted by alfied on October 24, 2009

By Patrick Donahue and Tony Czuczka

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s incoming second-term government plans to hold talks with the U.S. on the removal of American-made nuclear weapons from the country.

Foreign Minister-designate Guido Westerwelle renewed his call for a “country free of nuclear weapons” today after Merkel’s coalition partners reached an agreement for a new government, which is scheduled to take office Oct. 28.

“We want the last nuclear weapons still stationed in Germany to be withdrawn — and therefore we will take up the appropriate talks with our allies,” Westerwelle told reporters in Berlin. Merkel, asked about the policy, said “we will do this as part of talks with our partners.”

Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc wrapped up talks in the early hours for a new government with the pro-business Free Democratic Party headed by Westerwelle. The parties’ 124-page coalition agreement calls specifically for talks with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the U.S. to remove the weapons.

Under a Cold War-era NATO sharing agreement, the U.S. has stationed nuclear weapons on German soil. Several hundred warheads are stationed at U.S. airbases in five European countries, including Germany, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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