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Germans refuse to discuss Syria mission
Photo: DPA

Germans refuse to discuss Syria mission

Published: 09 Mar 2012 17:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Mar 2012 17:33 GMT+01:00

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle ruled out even talking about German military involvement in Syria on Friday, saying it would be “counterproductive,” during a meeting of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

He said he would not send troops to Syria, where violent political unrest continues to rage following an uprising against the ruling regime and a savage crack-down on rebels.

“The disintegration of the Assad regime has started,” he said. “No country allows itself to be ruled with barbarism and repression in the long term.”

The US government, however, is debating whether to send troops to try to stop the violence – in support of the rebels.

Syria has been in revolt for nearly a year, but fighting has intensified over recent months while the country’s third largest city, Homs, has recently been subjected to a wave of violence by the army.

Last month the United Nations said at least 7,500 Syrian civilians had been killed so far, with at least 100 more, including many women and children being killed every day.

Westerwelle welcomed the defection on Thursday of President Bashar al-Assad’s oil minister, a high-ranking politician, to the opposing Syrian Free Army.

Abdo Hussameddin’s defection showed that Assad’s regime was starting to crumble, said Westerwelle. Not only were many other lower-ranking politicians already leaving the president’s side, but increasing numbers of soldiers were also fleeing the country, for neighbouring Turkey.

“We do not want to escalate the problem, but to dampen the inferno in Syria,” he said. Germany should look for a solution along the same lines of sanctions that have been imposed upon the country by the United Nations Security Council, he said.

Westerwelle said he would be at a United Nations meeting on Monday in New York to present Germany’s three main aims for Syria: humanitarian aid, an end to the prolonged violence and a peaceful change of government.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:25 March 9, 2012 by Englishted
He huffs and puffs , maybe he should just call them in for talks ,it has worked with Iran.
01:43 March 10, 2012 by Dono
The US and all Western countries should get out and stay out of the middle east, and let them resolve their own problems. German blood is not worth spilling for theMiddle East
04:42 March 10, 2012 by Sastry.M
Iran or Syria, it is not Germany's area of military concern to preach democracy . May be Herr Westerwelle had shown prudence over Libya, refusing direct involvement.
16:19 March 10, 2012 by raandy
President Obama, has stated he does not favor any military action in Syria.

I would agree with his stance on this.

Military action in Libya created as many if not more problems than it solved.

I agree with you Dono, let them solve their own domestic problems.
18:08 March 10, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
¦quot;Germans refuse to discuss Syria mission¦quot; is this is really true?

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle might rule out German military involvement in Syria, but does he speak for the Germans, or just for the FDP or Merkel's political self service club?The current government may well have been elected, but is far from being democratic and there is not one Minister in Berlin who really represents the people.

It would not be wrong to say that Germany possibly has Europe's best written Constitution, but nearly every government since the Conrad Adenauer period has found a way to get round it.

The rulers of the country and the Germans themselves are (and often were in the past), two completely different entities.
20:09 March 10, 2012 by Sayer
Assad has claimed since the beginning, and recent caches of Israeli and US arms caught by officials at various points on the border, along with other mitigating reports emanating from the region, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that foreign fighters are at work in Syria, the same as they were in Libya, with one goal: regime change. Syria is the stepping stone to a war with Iran. Plain and simple. And if that comes to pass you can kiss whatever's left of the global economy's recovery a last goodbye.
02:36 March 12, 2012 by Major B
@ Sayer

Agree totally with your last three sentences.

War with Iran can and must be avoided, for so many obvious reasons.
08:25 March 12, 2012 by Englishted
@Sayer

Goes around comes around ,for how long have Syria send troops and arms into Lebanon? ,and supported Hezbollah that peace loving democratic movement in the South.
16:27 March 12, 2012 by Major B
@ Englishted

I normally don't agree with ANYTHING you say be we are in agreement with your last post # 8.

There is nothing positive to say about that ruthless Assad regime and the filth his father perpetuated in the regime before. Father Assad was even more ruthless and I remember a figure of 200,000 people that supposedly were killed in the Homs city region in a rebellion in the 1970's. Please anyone correct this last sentence if you have updated info

You are so right about the Syrian influence in Lebanon. For years they kept 40,000 or so troops in the Bekaa Valley, destablizing Lebanon and tilting the balance over to that vile Hezbollah and its despicable allies.

Now Syria is in upheaval and we mourn the loss of life of its valiant citizens but feel no pity for the Syrian government. But it is certainly not for the U.S. to send ground forces to this situation, and we do remember our Marines who died in the barracks in 1982, bombed by Hezbollah, with tacit Syrian approval.

Why the Arab league doesn't recognize they might be next and get something done is another matter.

Are you really watching Saudi Arabia?

Let's see if the Turks are ready for world leadership again?

Having sat out Libya, if the German people want to support the Syrian people, conflict, or at least be a part of a settlement, maybe there is support. Perhaps in concert with Turkey and Russia
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