• Germany's news in English

Merkel demands Qaddafi step down immediately

The Local · 11 Mar 2011, 17:12

Published: 11 Mar 2011 17:12 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“It has to be completely clear that someone waging war against his own people is no longer a negotiation partner for the European Union,” Merkel said while attending a European Union summit in Brussels on the unrest in Libya.

“We want to do all that we can to limit the suffering of the Libyan people," she said. "However, we have to carefully think through the measures that would lead to a proper resolution.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy went into the EU talks urging partners to extend formal recognition to Libya's opposition while working on contingency planning for military action.

In a surprise move, Sarkozy said Paris and London favoured targeted strikes in Libya in the event of Qaddafi bombing his own people.

But Germany's foreign minister on Friday urged caution on the issue of recognising the Libyan opposition, despite calls from London and Paris to ramp up pressure on Qaddafi’s regime.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Guido Westerwelle said: "I advise everyone to look very closely to see if these people who say they represent the people are really speaking in the name of the people."

"Certain members of the opposition were until recently members of the Qaddafi regime," added the minister.

"We absolutely need to know in what direction these new forces want to go. Do they want a democracy? An election? A transformation?" asked Westerwelle. He said the views of other countries in the region were also crucial.

Story continues below…

Speaking about a proposed no-fly zone over Libya, Westerwelle said: "A no-fly zone is not like putting up a traffic sign, it is an attack with bombs, with rockets, with weapons."

"And what would we do when it doesn't work? Would we then go in with ground troops? I am very sceptical about this," he said. "Before one goes into a war, you really need to have thought through things to the end."

DPA/AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:05 March 11, 2011 by tallady
wow,this forum has reached an all time low. bigots,racist and idiots rein.
18:19 March 11, 2011 by wenddiver
I wonder how many German Youth Mrs. Merkel would consider an acceptable loss to remove Mr. Qadaffi. If you wanted to bring down her government a long figt in a sand bog might be just the way to do it. Obamma can't intervein in an area with no US interests without being blasted for not caring about the economy.

I personally would like to see how much staying power the EU could throw into the fight with it's current military preparedneness.

I am afraid that this will be resolved by the Libiyans and the Russians will tip the balance to Qadaffi, Ye Ole Classic- Weapons for Oil Contracts.
19:09 March 11, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Obama won't do anything. The UN won't do anything. Right now, my money is on Quadaffi not going anywhere, anytime soon.
20:18 March 11, 2011 by Victor Scicluna
I have always been against Germany being given a permenant seat at the security council, they want power but shy away from responsibility, Merkel demands Gaddafi resigns, since when do dictattors listen to any demands, embargos and so on.

France is right to accept the opposition, Germany wants to wait ... .. in the meantime the tyrant is bombing his own people and all Merkl does is speech.

The only thing which will make him go is to force him out... try sending an sms... Gaddafi please go.
20:40 March 11, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Good to see Merkel take a principled stand on something. Unfortunately, that happens only as long as her own government is not concerned.
20:48 March 11, 2011 by randyman1956
Don't give up Angie. Maybe someone will accuse Quadaffi-Duck of plagiarism and then he'll step down.
21:21 March 11, 2011 by BPinAZ
"France is right to accept the opposition, Germany wants to wait ... .. in the meantime the tyrant is bombing his own people and all Merkl does is speech

This comment made above was irresponsible as it flies in the face of what we understand about the current situation. To the poster: what are you referring to exactly?

Foreign Minister Westerwelle cautioned against the use of force against Libya for sound reasons. Who are the forces Germany would be removing? Who would take the place in government? Do they want democracy? Are the strongest of the protestors simply agents of something even more radical? How long, seeing as you're speaking on behalf of what others should do, willing to keep a military in Libya? What is the end-game? God help us if the EU's end-game in Libya would look like the U.S. end-game in Afghanistan...
22:30 March 11, 2011 by fryintl
I am very interested in this topic. There are soem very good arguments made in the story line above, adn a few decent ones in the comments.

Finally adults are tlaking about going to war. Plan, know what the options are, decide how much manpower and money and equipment you will invest in the war, decide on rules of engagement, decide and state firmly a public ultimatum and be ready to back it up. If you don't have the nads to do what you say you will, don't come to the party- hell don't throw one. I am seeing a very balanced and thoughtful/pensive mature government in Merkel's Foreign policy. The world should listen.

Russsia doesn't need the oil, they have it. BUt they do need access and influence in that area, so they will help Qadafi, china will step in too. I foresee Qadafi sticking around too, and I agree that if you don't know what the opposition is about, how can you send in your boys to die with no clear plan or at least tactical knowledge of the Battlefield? We do not need another Afghanistan. Go in? Then go in loaded for bear and with liberal ROE to remove the opposition or at least hurt them so bad they can't make war.
22:32 March 11, 2011 by lordkorner
It is obvious that this man will not stand down/give up until he runs out of hair dye.
03:50 March 12, 2011 by swingCrew
yeah I'm with the comment up higher; that Obama and the U.N. are asking for a sick day, I got a feeling for it today reading, you know how that happens, one day the news coverage leaves room for ambiguity, and the next its screaming at you the same as it has been the whole time, that this requires humanitarian as well a military action from all sides? Yeah today was my "enough is enough" threshold.
05:24 March 12, 2011 by wenddiver
@Rryinrl- The Russiand don't need the Oil themselves, they are exporters. I was thinking like this, suppose your an ex-KGB guy, who finds himself the head of Russia, no doubt the ladies of the (PTA)Parent Teachers Association just thought you would bring integrity to the job . Your big money maker is selling Energy to some sucker we'll call Mr. Europe, you and some guy in Libiya supply almost all his energy. Now if you wanted to put the squeeze on this scmuck, it would be easier if a certain low grade gangster controlled both energy supplies, then you could really really put the screws to him. Ask yourself what would John Gotti or Al Capone do???

Probably help out this poor Libiyan Colonel living in the tent, because your a nice guy and like they say in the game Monopoly, that gives you all of Park Place.
13:11 March 12, 2011 by Frenemy
I think we should stay out of this and let the Arabs handle this themselves.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been talking about setting up their equivalent of NATO for years, well now is their chance. The GCC has everything they need to effect a no-fly-zone, insert peace-keeping troops and conduct stability operations.

For C2: the Saudis have AWACS, UAVS and the Egyptians have E-2Cs; for SEAD missions the UAE has F-16s and Mirage 2000s; as for helicopters, they all have Apaches, Blackhawks and Chinooks; for troop transport and resupply logistics Egypt and Qatar have C-130s and C-17s.

So you see, everyone has something to bring to the party. After all, why have we been selling them all this advanced weaponry all these years if they're not gonna do something useful with it?

We should stay out of this and let the Arabs clean this up. The West has enough on its plate already...
00:50 March 14, 2011 by wenddiver
Good luck EU he appears to be winning. Woder what his new oil price for Europe will be once he creams the remaining Rebels.
08:32 March 14, 2011 by Victor Scicluna
@ BpinAZ

I appreciate your comments and style .. so I will answer you. My main point is that Germany wants a permanent seat in the security council and as much as I admire the German´s love of peace and non intervention it will simply add another no vote to the typical China and Russia vetoing of any intervention actions to stop any internal problems.

Clearly the other two have their own reasons to veto intervention as they have a history of suppressing any internal disagreement.

Germany has clean clear reasons .. they oppose war ... which in itself is a very honorable reason but unfortunately you can make peace and sit down and talk if your neighbor is also willing to do so. If he greets you with an machine gun, you´d better be armed.

Let´s say our neighbor is torturing his kids, we can look the other way and say it¦#39;s an internal matter or get the police to forcefully break in and save the kids.

My vision of the UN is when many large and powerful countries, such as Germany, France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and China assemble such a huge international army that when some dictator like Gaddafi, N.Korea´s guy or similar start misbehaving all we need is to move just close to them and they know they have absolutely no chance and give up.

Imagine how Gaddaffi would really act if four or five aircraft careers from five super powers are parked closed to his border.

As things are dictators know we will simply administer lip service and since they are bad guys it doesn´t bother them anymore. Name me one dictator that left without pressure. Liked the comment about Gaddafi resigning cause he falsified his university degree.

In the meantime my heart goes for the people whose towns have been recaptured by Gaddaffi´s forces ... God knows how many will be picked up in the early hours of the night never to be seen again.

In the meantime most of my friends are concerned that petrol will be more expensive and that they might have to cancel their holiday to Egypt. Perhaps they should shut up and live with these horrible dictators so we can enjoy our holidays on their sandy beaches.
10:54 March 14, 2011 by moistvelvet
She demands? Oh why didn't she just say so before, but for what it's worth I think it is the same as me damanding better service from Deutche Telekom, pointless!
15:24 March 14, 2011 by tallady
I agree Gaddaffi is not going away ,unless its due to poor health,from all that hair dye.

I am sure he knows its all blow and no go from USA and the EU.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd