• Germany's news in English
 

Westerwelle plays down engagement in Libya

Published: 23 Aug 2011 09:15 GMT+02:00

The statement by Westerwelle to public broadcaster ZDF came amid concerns about Germany becoming involved in a quagmire in Libya following what appeared to the be the imminent collapse of Qaddafi’s regime.

“It may be that Libya is developing into the new Somalia,” said Peter Scholl-Latour, a former journalist and one of German's most respected Middle East experts. “The Islamists are waiting.”

Although the German military has not been directly involved in the NATO military campaign to weaken Qaddafi’s regime, it appears possible that peacekeeping soldiers could eventually be sent to the country.

Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière suggested they could be used to maintain peace in Libya and help prop up democratic institutions.

Westerwelle avoided speaking directly about German military involvement and said Libyans must decide their own future.

But he also promised future German assistance to help create a vibrant civil society, independent judiciary and ensure free and fair elections.

As of Tuesday, however, much remained unclear and in flux. Despite reports of his capture, one of Qaddafi’s sons visited journalists overnight and was taking them on tours of the capital city Tripoli.

And in the face of the rebellion’s lightning march into Tripoli, NATO members, including Germany, were mulling what to do next – including the possibility of the transitional government will soon be asking for direct military assistance.

“NATO should consider very carefully how it would react in such a case,” Ruprecht Polenz, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:31 August 23, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
The less german involvement in Libya, the better. The government would lose the rest of credibility if german troops would be sent now that the NATO-attacks are over. Besides, I don't want to see any german soldiers there as "peace-keepers" in this mess, they have no business there. Let the French or the British send troops, they started the NATO-involvement. The whole country is doomed for years to come: tribes, clans and regional warlords all fighting for power. It will be interesting to see what kind of government follows Gadaffi, if any "government" at all. Sadly, every cent of development aid is wasted in the current situation, and trying to help Libya to build up a "democracy" is just a bad joke.
11:45 August 23, 2011 by Sastry.M
Let the federal govt. of United Germany take note that they themselves are the Reps. of hard won democracy by the hardest suffered people on earth abused with both physical destruction as well moral accusation suffering the rule of an erstwhile dictatorship.

We in India are desperately suffering from corruption fallen prey to foreign loans and forked tongue preachings of assurance by super powers but pursued with self serving interests of double standard foreign policies. Germany has only been the one western nation who really wished India well right from the inception of freedom struggle though to the development of national construction shown with true empathy. This parallel of spiritual consonance may be because of common sufferings of both people under foreign subjugation and fight for truth and justice as the motto of India declares "Sathyameva Jayathe" (Truth only wins).

For all the greatest service rendered by the Germans to Indian spiritual and cultural heritage let their great nation stand erect to the cause of Truth as a friendly nation and . as deemed necessary, take inspiration from Anna Hazare's peaceful movement for truth and against corruption.

Let it be remembered that Germany withstood the worst embargoes against her industry since 1920's and the Truth of hard and disciplined work with positive spirit of hope in all national reconstruction displayed the mark of people whether under harsh dictatorship or raising from ruins in the aftermath of ww-2 with a hard won freedom kept up under democracy to the present day.
13:08 August 23, 2011 by marimay
I've never laughed so hard at anything posted on this site before.
13:41 August 23, 2011 by storymann
There is a modicum of fact in SastyM opinion.

Nazi Germany supported Indian political leader Subhash Chandra Bose's bid for armed struggle against British colonial rule and helped organize the Indian National Army along with Japan.

Many would consider this self-serving,however
15:34 August 25, 2011 by Sastry.M
@storymann,

Many thanks for bringing out a modicum of fact which bespeaks of greater truth. Right from the inception of Indian freedom struggle participation of two distinct classes of people was apparent,namely, the more outspoken and vehement (Athivad) and the receptive and soft spoken (Mithavad). The former was initiated by Bal Gangadhar Tilak who inspired Subhash Chandra Bose and the latter belonged to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Many belonged to Mithavad because of Indian philosophical pacifism in general while a far and few Athivad group, however, did possess self serving concerns of vehement armed protest . Many such break away sympathizers formed the Indian National Army led by Netaji(leader) S.C Bose first enrolled in the Axis Army of Nazi Germany but due to strategic difficulties later organized as Azad Hind Fouz (Indian Liberation Army) helped by the nearer Japs.

Worthy of note,however, is that majority Indian regular army fought on side the Allies along with the Australians from far east and the Canadians from far west. Did their human sacrifices find equitable recognition and representation during the war crimes and genocide trials of Nueremberg aganst Nazi atrocities? Even if this is considered major allies' prerogative why did the U.S wantonly dropped Atom Bombs months after the major Axis power Germany surrendered unconditionally and the war was as good as over on larger area. The Japs could be forced to intimidated surrender with a demonstration of destruction under nuclear explosion but many innocent civilians perished under real time phased testing of the A.bombs using the Jap.cities as testbeds. Whose inquisitive self did this atrocious act serve -the nuclear scientists who developed the Bomb or the Politicians to threaten all humanity with their destructive prowess?
Today's headlines
German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd