Berlin Speech Obama Calls for Cuts in Strategic Nuclear Weapons

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he would seek negotiations with Russia to reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons they hold by up to a third.
Barack Obama speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Barack Obama speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Foto: ODD ANDERSEN/ AFP

US President Barack Obama called for a major new push to reduce the world's nuclear arsenal on Wednesday, declaring during a visit to Berlin that he would seek talks with Russia to "reduce our deployed nuclear weapons by up to one third."

"At the same time we will work with our NATO allies to seek a bold reduction in US and Russian tactical weapons in Europe," Obama said in a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate during his first official visit to Berlin as president.

He also said the US would host a summit in 2016 on nuclear arms reduction and seek to create a new international framework for the use of peaceful nuclear power. He also reiterated his rejection of the nuclearization of North Korea and Iran.

"We intend to work with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear posturing," he said.

Obama was addressing an invited audience of some 4,000 students and government officials.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed the move. "The world will be safer and better if we succeed together in putting his nuclear disarmament plans into practice," he said in a statement.

"Fewer nuclear weapons and effective global rules on nuclear non-proliferation are decisive steps towards 'Global Zero' -- a world without nuclear weapons," he said.

cro -- with wire reports