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Westerwelle: Berlin must oppose US missile defence

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Westerwelle: Berlin must oppose US missile defence
Photo: DPA
08:10 CEST+02:00
Guido Westerwelle, the head of German opposition Free Democrats, on Thursday urged the German government to oppose the US missile defence system to be built in neightbouring Poland and the Czech Republic.

Washington signed an agreement with Warsaw on Wednesday to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of its shield to defend against a missile attack from countries such as Iran.

Westerwelle told the Thursday edition of the Stuttgarter Nachrichten that Berlin shouldn't let the controversial project be “waved through” due to its regional ramifications for security policy.

“German foreign policy should lead a new disarmament initiative, if only because we have fundamental interest in it geographically,” he said.

Many German politicians fear the US missile shield in eastern Europe could spark a new arms race between the West and Russia, which vehemently opposes the project. But German government spokesman Thomas Steg said on Tuesday the missiles in Poland and a radar facility in the Czech Republic are not directed at Russia.

"For us the missile defence shield is not pointed at Russia but... can be seen as a European defence system against threats from other regions" such as Iran, Steg said.

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