• Germany edition
Westerwelle plays down engagement in Libya
Photo: DPA

Westerwelle plays down engagement in Libya

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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

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
'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel
Merkel looking grave at Thursday's West Balkan conference in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that European leaders will discuss the worsening Ukraine crisis and possible further sanctions against Russia at a weekend summit. READ  

Pilots' strike grounds 116 flights
Passengers in Hannover check departure boards showing cancelled Germanwings flights. Photo: DPA

Pilots' strike grounds 116 flights

UPDATE: Pilots at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings are striking until midday on Friday, grounding 116 flights and up to 15,000 passengers. READ  

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm with fellow World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League

The 2014-15 Champions League draw yesterday brought déjà-vu for English and German clubs as old opponents found themselves facing off once again. READ  

German of the Week
Animal activist fights off murder threats
Photo: DPA

Animal activist fights off murder threats

Friedrich Mülln has been dragged through the courts and threatened with murder during his years as a animal rights activism. His latest court case was in Munich this week but he tells The Local he has no plans to give up the fight. READ  

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Passengers look at messages about the damage this morning at Ostkreuz. Photo: DPA

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines. READ  

Germany posts weaker job figures
Photo: DPA

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole. READ  

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
The facade of the Mevlana mosque was badly damaged by smoke from the fire. Photo: DPA

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately. READ  

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
The Haus am Bogensee. Photo: DPA

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying. READ  

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis
Cem Özdemir empties a bucket of water over his head next to a cannabis plant. Photo: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis

What looked like just another ALS ice bucket challenge video has become a political statement after the leader of Germany's Green Party Cem Özdemir confirmed he filmed his clip next to a cannabis plant. READ  

Photo: Shutterstock
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd