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Merkel praises NATO for Libya campaign

The Local · 27 Aug 2011, 19:17

Published: 27 Aug 2011 19:17 GMT+02:00

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In the interview with Bild am Sonntag to be published Sunday, she also said Qaddafi should be tried by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

“We back our allies and I have the deepest respect for NATO's involvement, she told the paper. “As for our side, we pursued political and economic sanctions against the regime.”

Merkel did not rule out a Bundeswehr participation in a UN-peacekeeping mission in Libya, but would not commit to sending troops. Earlier this week, Merkel and other German officials avoided making any clear statements about sending troops to the country.

The government's Libya policy has come under attack again following comments from Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who appeared to credit Germany's support of sanctions as key to toppling Qaddafi.

Germany shocked its NATO allies last spring by abstaining from a UN Security Council vote in March, which adopted Resolution 1973 authorizing the use of force to protect Libyan civilians. It also did not join NATO's operations in the north Africa country. Germany was the only European Union country and NATO member to do so.

Merkel said, “When one asks us Germans, we will of course review what we can do.” She said, “Germany will participate in a supporting role when a new Libya will be rebuilt.”

Germany is ready to help and advise wherever the new Libyan institutions see a need, she said, noting that her government froze billions of the Quaddafi regime's money – funds that can now go to the the Libyan people.

Philipp Rösler, Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister, was the first member of Merkel's centre-right coalition explicitly to praise Berlin's NATO allies for their efforts against Qaddafi on Friday.

"We owe our deepest respect and gratitude to our allies who decisively stopped Qaddafi's murderous forces," he told the daily Passauer Neue Presse.

His comments contrasted starkly with those made earlier this week by Westerwelle, who was finally compelled on Saturday to offer his respect to Germany's allies. There have been renewed calls for Westerwelle, who is largely blamed for Berlin's decision not to support the NATO effort in Libya, to resign.

But Rösler, who succeeded Westerwelle as the leader of the Free Democratic Party this spring, said the beleaguered foreign minister's position was secure for now.

DPA/AFP/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:28 August 27, 2011 by dcgi
That photo? Really?
05:06 August 28, 2011 by amaticc
Pitty that you can praise a camaign where journalists are targeted because they do not report your side of a story. That you support wining side, that just make executions on streets. And since protecting of civilians means bombing other side all time?
08:28 August 28, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
What a bunch of spineless bootlickers. I couldn't eat as much as I like to puke.
09:03 August 28, 2011 by Major B
Cruel, oblivious to true right and wrong, politics is what it is. A strong moral stance last week looks like week indecisiveness this week. I am reminded of a Nuremburg trial movie where the Goering character said essentially that "we were wrong because we lost". In this case the German government had actually won but it appears to be reversing itself because the situation is "appearing to be" victorious for NATO and German govmt will share none of the glory at the eventual victory ceremony.

Why am I getting the sense that officials within the German government who had pushed for intervention are voicing a hard "I told we should have participated" agenda? Sure this was and still is a hellish campaign. As an American Civil War general said, "war is hell". But the celebrations of thousands of Libyans in Tripoli speaks to the ultimate rightness of the NATO support effort.

I suspect the strong sentiments of both many public and influential private former officials are exactly the same as those expressed by Chancelor Kohl in his most recent statement.
10:08 August 28, 2011 by Bushdiver
Nice of Merkel to join in now that the outcome has been virtually decided. I think by now the so-called allies could care less what Merkel thinks.
10:50 August 28, 2011 by storymann
Germany's refusal to ingage in combat sorties over Libya was a disappointment but their refusal to vote on the UN resolution with Turkey was a slap in the face.

Germany, did however in a reversal, supply very needed munitions and logistic support after the first eight weeks

The intervention in Libya has enabled Islamist Turkey to flex its foreign policy muscles in a way that reflects the increasing anti-Western predilections of the Erdogan government.

With the AK party re-orientating Turkey away from the West and toward Iran and Islamism, NATO may soon have in its midst a member country more aligned with the values of its sworn enemies than the ones NATO was created to defend.
12:48 August 28, 2011 by Sastry.M
One reason why the Germans were reluctant to directly participate in military campaign over Libya may be that if done so an odd German soldier might yell with victory in sight an enthusiastic "Sieg Heil!"
11:41 August 29, 2011 by frankiep
Of course Germany should have joined in the bombing of Libya, because Libyan forces were directly threatening Germany and other NATO allies. Wait, what's that you say? Libyan forces were not threatening to attack/bomb any NATO allies and that the action taken against Libya was/is purely offensive in nature and therefore in violation of NATO's own charter? Well to that I say "so what!" After all, it's not like getting involved in (read: bombing the hell out of) the internal affairs of other countries, especially Muslim ones, which are not militarily capable of threatening the West has ever caused any kind of detrimental consequences in the past. Right?
21:16 August 29, 2011 by Major B
hey Frankiep please respond to this question.

What would have been your response had Quadaffi, the great, generous and mentally stable autocrat/dictator/emperot that he was, had succeeded in capturing Benghazi and slaughtering thousands there as he said he would do?

I mean we know the man keeps his word when it comes to killing people.
07:40 August 30, 2011 by frankiep
Oh please get off of your fake moral high horse.

Ok, if you want to play this game then tell me how the NATO bombing went in the Sudan where even more people were slaughtered. What about in Syria, when will NATO bombing start there to end the killing?

Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe - the list goes on - all have mentally unstable dictators who are responsible for slaughtering their own people. I suppose you want to start bombing the hell out of those places as well. Wait a minute, those places don't have much oil and/or are providing the West with something they need so let's not call attention to the killing going on there.

The countries in the West manage to continue to exist without much disturbance even though those countries I just mentioned are run by murderous thugs, and they would continue to run just fine without getting involved in the Libyan mess. It's either that or you have to be willing to go to war with every one of those countries (amongst many others). If you are not willing to do that, but still agree with bombing the hell out of Libya then I call you a hypocrite. If you are willing to do that - to go to war with 10-15 countries that are not threatening you - then I call you a nutjob.
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