Germany plans to observe nuclear ban meeting

The three parties that will form Germany's new coalition government next month have agreed to seek observer status at a meeting of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty.

The move is part of the coalition deal that was reached on Wednesday. The center-left Social Democratic Party won the most seats in September's federal election and its leader, Olaf Scholz, is set to become the new chancellor.

The policy agreement says the incoming government plans to observe the meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to be held in Austria next March.

It says Germany's participation as an observer will be based on the results of the coming review conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in January. It also says Germany will closely consult with its allies.

Germany has rejected the nuclear ban treaty under outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The United Nations says Switzerland, Sweden and Finland are to participate in the meeting as observers. Germany would become the second NATO member after Norway to seek observer status.

UN diplomatic sources say Germany's move will have an impact on the policies of other countries.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, says it expects more countries will follow Germany's example.