In an interview with Deutsche Welle, the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle calls upon the US President Barack Obama to push forward nuclear disarmament.
After the elections in Russia and the United States, "the window of opportunity for disarmament is wide open," Westerwelle tells Deutsche Welle. In view of Obama's inauguration for a second term on January 21, Westerwelle says that the US president should pursue the disarmament policy he introduced in his first term with "even more commitment and perseverance."
Westerwelle argues that nuclear disarmament is central to international security and stability and that "nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are two sides of the same coin." He points out that nuclear non-proliferation can only be advanced if countries currently in possession of nuclear weapons are willing to disarm.
The foreign minister also suggests that the US government's new focus on the Asia Pacific region is understandable, even from a European point of view. The focus on Asia doesn’t mean that Europe is less important. Asia, he points out, is a continent with impressive economic growth, and "it is only natural" that the United States would position itself accordingly. The United States' realignment hasn't changed anything about the "truly excellent transatlantic relations," says Westerwelle.