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. Sarkozy wants German role in nuclear defence: report

by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Sept 15, 2007
President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked Germany to open talks about a possible role the country could play in France's nuclear defence system, the weekly Der Spiegel reported.

But the magazine said in its edition to be published Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier rejected the offer during a meeting outside Berlin last Monday.

Sarkozy told German leaders that French nuclear weapons were also protecting neighbouring Germany, which was one reason why they should think about a closer cooperation in that area, Der Spiegel said.

However Steinmeier told the French leader Germany had no plans to acquire nuclear weapons and therefore joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1975.

Submarines based at Ile Longue, off the western city of Brest, and strategic air forces are part of France's nuclear deterrent.

The exact number of nuclear warheads is not known but widely estimated at between 200 and 300.

Then French president Jacques Chirac warned in January last year that France could use nuclear arms against state sponsors of terrorism.

Merkel said at the time that there was no reason to blast Paris for its stand in spite of widespread criticism in her country.

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Britain, France must be included in weapons talks: Russian general
Moscow (AFP) Sept 3, 2007
Nuclear powers Britain and France must be included in any new efforts by Washington and Moscow to reduce stocks of tactical nuclear weapons, a Russian defence ministry official said on Monday.

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