- Title: Germany's Schulz says he would demand U.S. withdraw nuclear arms
- Date: 23rd August 2017
- Summary: GOETTINGEN, GERMANY (AUGUST 23, 2017) (REUTERS) GERMAN CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE AND LEADER OF GERMANY'S SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD), MARTIN SCHULZ, WAVING TO SUPPORTERS DURING ELECTION CAMPAIGN EVENT PEOPLE WAITING AT CAMPAIGN EVENT SCHULZ POSING FOR SELFIE WITH SPD SUPPORTER CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE AND LEADER OF GERMANY'S SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD), SAYING: "We are going to put the fight for more equity in Germany the focus of our election campaign and also the consideration of needed investments for the future of our country and the build-up of arms, which is imminent if we follow Donald Trump's ideas. I have made it clear again here in Goettingen - the politics of the United States of America under the leadership Donald Trump should under no circumstances become the politics of Germany." REPORTERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE AND LEADER OF GERMANY'S SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD), SAYING: "Germany under no circumstances should take part in nuclear armament strategies. It is clear, and this is obvious from Donald Trump's policies that nuclear armament is part of his programme. We have just seen in the conflict with North Korea that we need nuclear disarmament strategies instead of further armament. And therefore I demand nuclear weapons stationed in from Germany to be withdrawn." SCHULZ LEAVING
- Embargoed: 6th September 2017 17:53
- Keywords: Trump Schulz nuclear arms demand US withdraw nuclear arms Germany
- Location: GOETTINGEN, GERMANY
- City: GOETTINGEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016VDO8XZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) and chancellor candidate Martin Schulz on Wednesday (August 23) pledged to have U.S. nuclear weapons withdrawn from German territory if, against the odds, he defeats Angela Merkel to become chancellor next month.
Addressing a campaign rally in Goettingen, Schulz also said he, unlike Merkel, would resist demands by U.S. President Donald Trump for NATO members to increase their defence spending.
About 20 U.S. nuclear warheads are thought to be stationed at a military base in Buechel, in western Germany, according to unofficial estimates. The U.S. embassy in Berlin said it does not comment on nuclear weapons in Germany.
Germany and other NATO members had already pledged to raise their defence spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product before Trump was elected. While most of them have increased spending on their militaries, only a few have reached the 2 percent goal, and Germany is not one of them.
Most recent polls show Schulz's party polling at around 24 percent, some 14 percentage points behind Merkel. Most expect a booming economy and low unemployment will carry her into a fourth term in Sept. 24 elections.
However, with Germans historically wary of using military force since World War Two, Schulz's message may resonate among the SPD's core voters.
After 12 years in office, Merkel has become increasingly confident on the global stage. She has pushed for Germany to become more militarily self-reliant, partly in response to Trump's hinting that he might abandon NATO allies if they do not spend more on defence.
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