At a conference on security in Nuremberg, Foreign Minister Westerwelle today issued the following statement on the recent disarmament proposals put forward by President Obama:
There are still 17,000 nuclear warheads around the world. If this figure can be reduced, the world will be a safer place. That’s why President Obama’s disarmament initiative is a bold step forward for peace and security.
That President Obama has expressly included tactical nuclear weapons in Europe in his proposals, will give a boost to our efforts to bring about the withdrawal of the last nuclear weapons remaining on German soil.
President Obama’s initiative is a great vindication of our decision to make nuclear disarmament a priority in Germany’s foreign policy. Of course, the other nuclear powers, especially Russia, have to play their part. We will now step up the dialogue with Moscow with a view to supporting President Obama’s initiative. The focus of German foreign policy will be on building bridges to foster nuclear disarmament.
A world without nuclear weapons is a vision, not an illusion. Of course, it will not come about overnight. We need political will, astute diplomacy and, above all, perseverance and strategic patience.