BERLIN, May 22 (Xinhua) -- German Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told the German broadcaster n-tv on Friday that her country will make an effort to salvage the international Open Skies treaty.
The U.S. administration revealed on Thursday its intention to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows its states-parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities.
"I deeply regret the U.S.'s announcement on abandonment of the treaty," said Kramp-Karrenbauer, adding that in close coordination with Germany's Foreign Office, "we will do everything we can to ensure that at the end of the day everyone will be able to stick with this contract."
The Treaty on Open Skies, which aims at building confidence and familiarity among states-parties through their participation in the overflights, was concluded in 1992 and entered into force in 2002. Currently, 35 nations, including Russia, the United States, and some other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have signed it. Kyrgyzstan has signed but not ratified it yet.
Germany's Foreign Office stressed that the treaty "contributes to transparency and confidence-building and the cooperative security" of all 34 participating states.
According to the Foreign Office, the treaty created the "only arms control regime that covers the entire territory of both the U.S. and Russia." Since its entry into force, over 1,500 reconnaissance flights have been conducted under the Open Skies treaty.
On Thursday, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also stressed that the treaty had contributed "to peace and security in almost all of the northern hemisphere," and added that he understood that there had been difficulties. "However, from our point of view that does not justify withdrawing from the treaty."
Together with its like-minded partners, Germany would use the remaining six months before the U.S. planned withdrawal to "encourage" the U.S. administration "to rethink its decision," stressed Maas. Enditem