NATO chief urges "solidarity" on nuclear disarmament

09:24, March 04, 2010      

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NATO Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday called for solidarity among member states on the issues of nuclear disarmament.

He told reporters at his monthly press conference: "It is important that anything that affects NATO's nuclear policy or posture be decided by the allies together, without any unilateral moves. Solidarity is very important when it comes to this issue."

The secretary-general urged member states to be pragmatic on the issue, and seek balance between nuclear disarmament and nuclear deterrence.

"There are a lot of nuclear weapons in the world, and a number of countries that either have them, would like to have them, or could have them quickly if they decided they needed them. That is just the way it is. So whatever we do in support of arms control and disarmament should be balanced with deterrence," he said.

He said that NATO will discuss the issue as foreign ministers convene in Tallinn on April 22-23.

Recently, five European NATO member nations, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway, sent a letter to Fogh Rasmussen, calling for a debate over the alliance's stance on nuclear weapons. The move is seen as an attempt to press for the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe.

The United States still has about 200 nuclear warheads in Europe, deployed in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.

Source: Xinhua
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