Germany to ask NATO for air surveillance

Germany plans to ask NATO to provide air surveillance during this year's soccer World Cup as part of a broad security plan, an Interior Ministry official said Thursday.

The ministry has requested that NATO provide AWACS surveillance planes to prevent private aircraft from overflying the stadiums, a spokesman said on a customary condition of anonymity.

The Defense Ministry had been asked to file a formal request with NATO and Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung has expressed no objections to the idea and was expected to pass it on to the alliance.

The NATO surveillance would be part of a broad set of anti-terrorism measures planned for the World Cup, which runs from June 9-July 9.

NATO deployed AWACS planes to bolster security during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cologne, Germany, in August, and during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the AP reports.


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