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Libyan rebels respect German military inaction

The Local · 30 Jun 2011, 20:10

Published: 30 Jun 2011 20:10 GMT+02:00

Jibril said after talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that Berlin's support in recognising the opposition National Transition Council and providing 15 million euros ($21.8 million) in aid were also crucial.

"Help for the Libyan people can come in many ways," he told reporters in Berlin through an interpreter when asked about Germany opting out of the NATO campaign of air strikes in Libya.

"Protecting the Libyan people from bombardment is not very different from economic assistance and political pressure (against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi)."

Germany in March abstained on a vote at the UN Security Council authorising a Libya mission to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly zone. It was the only European Union or NATO member to do so and provoked criticism from key allies.

Westerwelle recognised Jibril's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the "legitimate representative" of the Libyan people during a visit this month to Benghazi, the eastern seat of the rebellion.

"We are standing by the democratic forces in Libya," he told the news conference in Berlin.

Jabril, the top foreign affairs official in the NTC, thanked Germany for concrete assistance offers, including prosthetic limbs for those wounded in combat, psychological counselling for the traumatised as well as support for the around 700 Libyan students in Germany.

Westerwelle reiterated that Berlin was working to hand over assets in German bank accounts belonging to Qaddafi's regime - estimated at €7.35 billion - to the NTC.

Story continues below…

Asked about the French military parachuting light arms to the rebels - a move Russia said could mark a "brazen violation" of a Security Council resolution - Jabril declined to comment.

Westerwelle said he believed any French arms drop had occurred in a "very specific context" but refused to take a stance because Germany is not participating in the NATO air war.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

21:45 June 30, 2011 by harcourt
For 15 million Euros I think I could just about bring myself to say that as well !!
23:43 June 30, 2011 by ChrisRea
The Security Council resolutions were violated long time ago, when the coalition decided to hunt Qaddafi instead of protecting civilians.

I am not sure how democratic are the rebels. Just saying that you fight for democracy does not make you a democrat, especially when you torture civilians to death (as reported by Human Rights Watch).

I hope dictator Qaddafi will not be in power anymore. I am not sure if it is good for Libya that NTC gets the power.
07:00 July 1, 2011 by harcourt
ChrisRea :

1st. para. I'm not sure that it is an either/or situation in Libya I think they might be trying to do both.

The UN often baffles me, on Syria, France and Britain let it be known that they were trying to get together a resolution merely condemning the Syrian regimes repressive actions and couldn't do so because of the usual suspects, Russia and China, fair enough . Why don't the many countries that believe NATO has gone beyond its mandates 1970 and 1973, in Libya, let it be known that they too are trying to get together a similar resolution against NATO??
08:54 July 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
Hmm, let me see. Maybe because NATO have the biggest guns? No, that's the real reason. The formal reason is that NATO has three permanent members in the Security Council (US, UK and France - look, exactly the trigger-happy guys in Libya) and they can veto any and all resolutions. The Security Council has the role to adopt resolutions only against smaller countries. And the General Assembly resolutions are non-binding anyway.
10:55 July 1, 2011 by tueken
Why can't the west stop harassing the Africa. The old glory colony age has gone, just let them deal the problem with themselves.
12:09 July 1, 2011 by Ludwig von America
DISGUSTING in many ways...1) "protecting the civilians". what a joke. everyone sees that is the least of things NATO cares about while they daily kill innocent people with their bombs, 2) "democratic" forces in Libya. what fool really believes this rag-tag group of rebels follows democratic principles?, 3) Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy the "Young Guns" of the world ready to bomb to hell anything they please, 4) Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner, 5) NATO (U.S., France and Great Britain) won't stop because of the egos of their leaders, despite the fact that people are against this idiotic venture, 6) paying out millions of taxpayer dollars every month to kill innocent civilians with NATO bombs and create more enemies, 7) the rebels being recognized as a legitimate authority in Libya when no one even knows who or what they are.

I guess that's enough for now. Maybe will vent more later.
13:04 July 1, 2011 by harcourt
Thats a good idea Ludwig, you go and have a lie down !

Chris it doesn't matter if there are three or one permanent member of the security council vetoing, the resolution is still blocked. I noticed that on resolution 1973 even the non-permanent members did not vote AGAINST the resolution
15:52 July 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
The resolution 1973 itself is not necessary a bad thing, so it was no reason to vote against. However, NATO violated it when it decided to hunt down Qaddafi.

I see that you understood my point. Any of the three NATO countries that are permanent members in the Security Council can block a resolution condemning NATO for the actions in Libya.
16:13 July 1, 2011 by catjones
Stop the bombing or send me a Euro? Hmm, let me see. I know they're 'not very different', but I think it depends on the receiving end.
19:50 July 1, 2011 by harcourt
Chris : I am totally au fait with how the veto in the Security Council works. But my point and I admit it is a "fine" point was that on the Syrian situation at least France and Britain were up front and admitted that they would LIKE to introduce a resolution condemning ( yes merely condemning! ) the Syrian authorities for their actions but that it would be blocked by Russia and China. My "fine" point is that no country has stuck its head above the parapet to say " we are trying to introduce a resolution condemning NATO for exceeding their mandate but we know that it will be vetoed by some members of the Security Council. In fact it would be a good piece of anti-NATO propaganda, but it hasn't been done up till now.
07:07 July 2, 2011 by ChrisRea
Of course that already happened. As reported by Reuters, "Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that arming Libyan rebels was a 'crude violation' of a U.N. Security Council resolution". That is the diplomatic way of saying that NATO was caught red handed in this matter. It would be a faux pas to formally try to introduce a resolution condemning NATO, as everybody know it cannot succeed. Stating that the sky is blue is useless.
08:16 July 2, 2011 by harcourt
Chris I knew you were going to say that! Well I'll say it's better late than never. But how many weeks/months have people been saying NATO has gone beyond its mandate?? You could use your final argument for France and Britain to say "why bother over Syria" but they did at least attempt to assemble a resolution merely condemning the Syrian authorities, anyway it did draw the objectors out of anonymity
09:30 July 2, 2011 by ChrisRea
Dear harcourt,

It is really enjoyable to discuss/debate with a decent, polite and knowledgeable person like you. However, I do not feel comfortable to have a 2-person exchange of replies on a public forum. So please understand why before going on I would like to see other people joining the discussion. If it is only the two of us interested in this issue, probably it would be better to continue the discussion in private, maybe over a beer.
09:42 July 2, 2011 by harcourt
Chris: Couldn't agree with you more. I too have enjoyed a very interesting and rewarding discussion. Thank you and regards.
17:58 July 2, 2011 by ryhntyntyn
Is no one going to bring up WWII?
02:15 July 3, 2011 by Klaipeda
Please don't repeat the lies that the other western countries are propagating. NATO is not protecting civillians, its murdering them. Gaddafi's gov't is doing what any other gov't would do when people are trying to overthrow the gov't - put down the rebellion. Frances change from being opposed to killing Arabs to being in favor of killing Arabs might be due to having a Jewish leader now - Sarkozy. Germany should not murder Arabs to placate the US, France, Great Britain and others that are constantly attacking Arab countries and support atrocities against them such as when Israel massacred 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza a few years ago.

If being on the security council means Germany has to support muder, it should pass.
08:49 July 3, 2011 by harcourt
Bit of anti-semitism creeping in perhaps!!
04:11 July 5, 2011 by Klaipeda
Theres always someone around to accuse someone of that. That is the claim made nowadays to defend murder. In December 2008 Israel attacked Gaza and murdered 1,400 Palestinians - mostly women and children. The Palestinians managed to kill 13 Israelis. Zionists shoulted "anti-semitism" every time someone accused Israel of committing atrocities. They used the charge as an excuse for murder. They even called the Nobel Peace prize winner President Jimmy Carter of being anti-semitic. Its a very useful tool.
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