German foreign minister backs Obama's nuclear weapons' plans
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday that US-signalled intentions to significantly reduce nuclear stockpiles echoed his demand for US nuclear weapons to be removed from German soil.
"It encourages me to continue pushing for disarmament in NATO, and in particular to work towards the withdrawal of the last remaining nuclear weapons stationed in Germany," Westerwelle said in Berlin.
The comments came after US President Barack Obama was to discuss a new nuclear strategy at the White House on Monday, dpa reported.
Senior aides reportedly said Obama would permanently reduce the US nuclear weapons arsenal by "thousands of weapons," in a briefing with the New York Times.
Other officials, who were not authorized to talk, told the Times that the administration has been exploring with European allies the withdrawal of US tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.
Westerwelle said disarmament was an important element of maintaining a peaceful world without nuclear proliferation.
The foreign minister had raised the issue with his US counterpart, Hillary Rodham Clinton, when he took office last year.
"I have the impression that Russia has also understood that a window of opportunity has opened for disarmament, and we want to use that," Westerwelle added.