Germany regrets U.S. withdrawal from Open Skies arms control treaty.
BERLIN, Nov. 23 -- Germany "deeply regrets" U.S. quitting from the Opens Skies Treaty, a major international arms control agreement, and remains committed to the treaty as a key part of regional arms control measures, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Sunday. "We deeply regret that the U.S. decided to take this step and is now doing it. Our stance on the treaty has not changed: we see it as an important part of the arms control architecture," Maas said in a statement. The U.S. move to abandon the arms control treaty on Sunday marked the end of a six-month notification process since the world's superpower submitted the notice of its decision to exit the treaty in May. The treaty, which became effective in 2002, allows its 34 State Parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Mass also said that Germany is committed to efforts to overhaul the treaty so as to improve its role in confidence building between its members. Xinhua