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NATO leader praises German role in Libya

Published: 02 Nov 2011 16:57 GMT+01:00

Speaking to the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Rasmussen said Germany had shown “flexibility” in moving its AWACS reconnaissance aircraft from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan. That allowed other NATO aircraft doing reconnaissance work in Afghanistan to be moved to Libya.

“Germany has, despite its abstention in the UN Security Council, contributed to this operation,” Rasmussen told Die Zeit.

Berlin's controversial abstention came during a key vote on a UN resolution to back military action against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi last spring. The decision created a diplomatic crisis with the United States, Britain and France, which all played major roles in the campaign to oust Qaddafi. It also sparked some hand-wringing in Berlin among those worried Germany was splitting from its traditional Western allies.

But it later emerged that Germany was quietly helping NATO by reassigning the aircraft, sending personnel to NATO headquarters to help with bomb targeting decisions and offering financial and diplomatic backing to anti-Qaddafi rebel forces.

The United States even praised Germany in September, with an aid to US President Barack Obama saying he was “very pleased” by the country’s actions.

In comments to Die Zeit, Rasmussen also said that the action in Libya revealed that European countries need to invest more money in their militaries in order to stay effective. He added, that the campaign was not purely humanitarian, but also meant to keep the entire region peaceful.

“I would say that the operation in Libya had the goal of preventing a destabilization from North Africa to Europe’s borders,” he said.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:48 November 2, 2011 by Frenemy
"I would say that the operation in Libya had the goal of preventing a destabilization from North Africa to Europe¦#39;s borders"

So, we've already started changing the casus belli retro-actively, huh? Figures :-/
23:48 November 2, 2011 by ron1amr
Rasmussen also said that the action in Libya revealed that European countries need to invest more money in their militaries in order to stay effective. He added, that the campaign was not purely humanitarian, but also meant to keep the entire region peaceful.

Lets see if Libya will return to a peaceful Country.
00:51 November 3, 2011 by Ludwig von America
It seems this liar from the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization had a brief mental lapse and a slip of the tongue. He forgot his line ("the mission was to protect innocent civilians") and almost started speaking the truth.

By now the truth is so obvious to everyone...that NATO's mission was to help armed thugs overthrow Gaddafi and his government so the West could get their greedy hands in their resources. NATO probably figures it's OK now to drop the "protect civilian" silliness anyway.
10:05 November 3, 2011 by storymann
I agree that the NATO protect civilians was only one of the reasons for the campaign.Qaddafi was to independent for western leaders. There was no problem in buying his oil, he was a business man.

The Arab so called Spring starts out as a real desire to ask for reforms and in most cases starts out peacefully.The problem is groups like Al Quaeda that radicalize these people and start the violence,which leads to reprisals from the Leaders and more violence.

There has yet to be any real reforms anywhere in an Arabic nation that gives the people the freedom they have died for.

Because one dictator goes does not mean democracy comes in its place.

It may take longer for this to happen that the west expects. People were looking for more freedoms not necessarily for democracy.
16:01 November 3, 2011 by Sastry.M
Freedom+Democracy=Improved "Coefficient of Confusion" in all ways of diverting public attention from issues of present tension.

Freedom-Democracy= Status Quo Ante.
16:28 November 3, 2011 by Englishted
@Ludwig von America

What would or will advocate doing about Syria?
14:46 November 4, 2011 by Frenemy
Free their poor subjugated people, drag Assad's carcass through the streets, and pave the way for a glorious new Arab democracy. You know...the usual spiel (cuz that just how we roll)!! lol
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