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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?
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