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Former German statesmen against US missiles

13.1.2009 - E. Bahr, H.-D. Genscher, H. Schmidt, R. von Weizsäcker
Our century's keyword is cooperation. No global problem - be it the issue of environment and climate protection, providing for the energy needs of a growing world population or tackling the financial crisis - can be resolved by confrontation or the use of military force. America bears a special and indispensable responsibility. 


We unreservedly support the call by Messrs. Kissinger, Schultz, Perry and Nunn for a turnaround on nuclear policy, and not only in their country. This applies in particular to the following proposals:


The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) expires this year. Its extension is the most urgent item on the agenda for Washington and Moscow.


The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty must be restored. Outer space may only be used for peaceful purposes.


Cooperation in the interests of shared security enabled Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev to eliminate the mutual threat posed by medium-range nuclear missiles at the end of the Cold War and, in 1990, to undertake the largest-ever conventional disarmament effort. In more than 18 years since then, what we now call the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) has become the basis for Europe's stability. To this day it continues to address the interests of all concerned.

That stability has been strong and reliable enough to withstand German reunification and the end of the Warsaw Pact, to survive the implosion of the Soviet Union, to enable Baltic States to regain their sovereignty and to stand up to NATO and EU enlargement and the realities of the world at the beginning of 2009.

These arrangements would be jeopardized for the first time by the American desire to station missiles and a radar system on extra-territorial bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, on NATO's eastern border.

(...) (...) 

Security and stability for the northern hemisphere can only be achieved through stable and reliable cooperation among America, Russia, Europe and China.


Source (American): Bahr, Egon / Genscher, Hans-Dietrich / Schmidt, Helmut / von Weizsäcker, Richard. Toward a nuclear-free world: a German view. International Herald Tribune, 09.01.2009

The writers all held high office in the Federal Republic of Germany: Helmut Schmidt, a Social Democrat, was chancellor 1974-1982; Richard von Weizsäcker (on the photo), a Christian Democrat, was president 1984-1994; Egon Bahr, a minister in Social Democratic governments, was an architect of the policy of "ostpolitik"; Hans-Dietrich Genscher, of the Free Democrats, was foreign minister 1974-1992. 

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