• Germany's news in English

Germany warns US: no 'red lines' in Syria

The Local · 30 Apr 2013, 07:39

Published: 30 Apr 2013 07:39 GMT+02:00

"I support all forms of political pressure but I currently do not see a role for the military," De Maizière told reporters while on a trip to Washington, rejecting "automatic" military action in response to Syria's chemical weapons.

"Efficient military action would be extraordinarily complex and costly," he warned on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary tribute to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the US capital.

He appeared to be referring to President Barack Obama's past warnings that Syria's use or movement of chemical weapons would constitute a "red line" that could prompt more direct US intervention in the civil war.

The United States said Thursday for the first time that Syria had likely used chemical weapons on a small scale against rebel forces, but emphasized spy agencies were still not 100 percent sure of the assessment.

Obama on Friday promised a "vigorous investigation" into the reports and renewed his warning that proof of their use would be a "game changer."

De Maizière meanwhile urged Germany's Western allies to conduct a joint inquiry into the alleged use of chemical arms.

"We do not have enough information yet," he said.

De Maizière was due on Tuesday to meet his US counterpart Chuck Hagel for talks which would include Germany's potential purchase of three attack Reaper drones and four ground stations.

Such a purchase will be approved by German authorities in May, Der Spiegel magazine's online edition reported on Tuesday morning. The US Congress apparently gave its approval for the sale on April 10th.

The initial request from Germany for the drones was made at the start of last year. US forces use the Reaper as well as Predator B drones for attacks in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border.

Story continues below…

De Maizière wants to get a basic decision on the purchase before September's general election, the magazine reported, although parliament will not be asked for its approval until afterwards. The Bundeswehr currently uses unarmed Heron 1 drones in Afghanistan, but the agreement for their use runs out in October 2014, the magazine said.

The talks will also cover plans for Afghanistan after the 2014 end of the Nato military mission there. Germany was the first Nato member to sign up for a continued training and advisory mission, and promised up to 800 soldiers. The US has not yet made a commitment.

AFP/DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Woman accused of false rape allegation at Cologne NYE
Cologne on New Year's Eve. Photo: DPA

According to latest reports, the woman was not even in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Govt argues over using army inside Germany
Photo: DPA

After a string of violent rampages in one week, an argument has broken out in Germany’s coalition government over whether the army (Bundeswehr) should be deployed inside the country.

How Merkel reacts to crises better than other leaders
Photo: DPA

It is of critical importance for a country how a leader chooses to react to an act of terrorism. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cool head sets an example for the rest of the country.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Five things to know about guns in Germany
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd