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'No German soldiers in Libya,' Westerwelle says

The Local · 17 Mar 2011, 08:52

Published: 17 Mar 2011 08:52 GMT+01:00

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The United Nations Security Council, on which Germany currently holds a seat, is set to vote on Thursday whether to implement a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent leader Muammar Qaddafi from continuing his brutal suppression of pro-democracy rebels.

On Wednesday night, Britain and France reportedly finished a proposal for the measure, which Westerwelle maintained that Germany not vote in favour of.

“A no-fly zone is also a military intervention,” he told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, explaining that it would also be an attack on Libyan ground troops.

“I don’t want German troops entangled in a war in Libya,” he said.

Germany should learn from its recent history that military intervention is “no solution,” he said, also questioning whether such a measure would be effective.

Responsibility for the situation in the increasingly unstable country lies with the Arab League, though Germany would continue to exert political pressure on the Qaddafi regime through tough sanctions, he said.

On Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke out strongly against the no-fly zone proposal.

Story continues below…

With fighting on several fronts and casualties rising, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she hoped the UN Security Council will vote on new measures against Libya that might include the no-fly zone.

Qaddafi’s forces are pressing rebels in the west and threaten their eastern bastion of Benghazi, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon continues to call for an immediate ceasefire.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 March 17, 2011 by moistvelvet
So with those remarks the no fly zone is grounded before it even took off!! It would be a military intervention and without a UNSCR, which Germany says it will veto, it would be "illegal".

Pre-empting this veto it seems the British Foreign Secretary William Hague is hinting to action without a UNSCR, saying that circumstances may exist to impose a no fly zone without UN backing. However he may have shot a hole in his argument by suggesting that mere talk of a no fly zone may have resulted in Qadaffi air force striking targets that will not be sensitive to global media coverage, in other words Qadaffi may now not be bombing unarmed civilians, if so then why do they need a no-fly zone?
11:28 March 17, 2011 by Gilly58
Nothing new there then....meanwhile elements of the west sit back and drink coffee, and eat cake whilst innocent civilians are being annihilated. Well done folks, give yourselves a big pat on the back.
11:45 March 17, 2011 by Frenemy
@moistvelvet: Germany does not have veto power in the SC.
12:35 March 17, 2011 by moistvelvet
@Frenemy, well actually any negative vote is a veto so yes it does, although a veto from Germany isn't enough to prevent a UNSCR as a permanent member could.

Even if all 5 permanent members agreed to military intervention, which seems unlikely that Russia and China would, another 4 states would need to agree to gain the majority of 9 votes required to pass a resolution. But who would support it, India, Brazil? They are economically alligned with Russia and China to form the BRIC group so logically may take the same stance as their permanet counterparts and probably use any no-fly zone resolution as a bargaining chip for trade negotiations as would the remaining states such as Nigeria, Gabon and Lebanon. So at the end it won't be about convincing member states that a no-fly zone is needed, it will be about offering them geopolitical goodie bags to gain their support.
12:44 March 17, 2011 by lwexcel
Am I the only one that thinks that a 'no fly zone' will not accomplish much in this situation? Even if they pursue this measure, which will cost a lot of $$$ by the way, Qadaffi still has tanks, armored Humvee's and a slew of other weapons at his disposal. This is a civil war ladies and gents, and if the U.S., Chine, or Russia, are not going to get involved, I can assure you that none of Europes 'barely' standing armies will.
13:33 March 17, 2011 by freechoice
the rebels are fighting a loosing battle when they are consistently repel by Gadaffi's airforce. it is Germany social responsibility to ensure the fulfillment of democratic process in Libya.
14:44 March 17, 2011 by Sastry.M
One has to wonder how the democratic governments of western nations have tolerated those of totalitarian Arab rulers in general for more than three decades and suddenly woke themeselves up to rectify the mistake by supporting 'democratic revolutions' taking place in the Arab world presently. If they condemn Wiki Leaks which claims itself as the cause of Arab awakening as "Wicked" for exposing their national secret cables what wisdom do they muster in meddling with the democratic revolutions taking root within Arab sociological structures which should have naturally been left to themselves? Westerwelle should build a dyke to this sudden western wave of awakening and allow the natural Arab process to continue unhindered with westen tutorship!
15:46 March 17, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Obama is setting the Tone. Nobody is going to get involved. Just like in Egypt, if they want democracy, they are going to have to take it. This way, later on, there won't be any; ' oh but the USA Devils did this, and teh USA Imperialists did that. wwaaaaaaaahhhh!!!'

Let them fight their own revolution, and there won't be any confusion as to who is responsible for what.
18:32 March 17, 2011 by Richard McCabe
Given the kind of 'help' we've received from Germany recently, I feel I can safely say that we can manage without more German 'assistance'.
19:53 March 17, 2011 by ngwanem
am i the only seeing this hypocrisy? talk of no-fly zone in libya while the west looks the other way as their two allies (saudi arabia and bahrain) are partnering in murdering protesters in Bahrain. Also the UAE (another important western partner) offered "aid" to Bahrain to prevent the same democracy to take place. Yes! Ghaddfi is evil, murders his people and wants to remain there forever - i don't just see the difference with the other middle-eastern countries, except that the former protects less of western interests as the latter!
00:14 March 18, 2011 by Freeman
flying overhead ..meinholf...japans coast. Rescue Now!
10:35 March 18, 2011 by tallady
Richard McCabe,,good point,,,if they do not want to help at least they could shut up about it.
22:53 March 18, 2011 by Expat IV
Freeman--read every blog and every newspaper from every country you can find from the last week and see how much aid Germans have provided to Japan. Yes, Germany has surely thrown a few euros at it but as far as showing any human compassion, forget it.

Read about the young British teacher who saved 48 of his Japanese students and has stayed in the devastated village to help. Read about the US military's helicopters flying over the reactors to help drop water. Read about the American military personnel who are out in the villages helping the Japanese people search for their dead. Your plea for human involvement from Germany in any crisis will fall on cold, uncaring, ears while Great Britain and the Great Satan US ,once again, provide human beings to help their fellow human beings out of sheer human compassion without being asked or begged for it. What has Germany done but get it precious people out of Japan?
15:28 March 19, 2011 by Bruno53
Funny. The last time some German soldiers were in Lybia was during the Rommel/Montgomery confrontation in World War II. Almost 70 years ago. But anyway, I do NOT favor any foreign intervention in the conflict in Lybia. Leave Ghadafy sort it out with his enemies inside his country. Ghadafy's days are numbered.
15:02 March 22, 2011 by Sastry.M
Beachrider--I agree with your

doubts of 'fact problems' and 'asymmetrical comparisons'.As an Indian I

submit that this problem of human mind is the prime subject of Indian

philosophy. Facts evolve around thoughts based on personal knowledge

previously established with study and experience. However the phenomenal

events we see and experience 'daily' or expressed as 'history' are

based upon Truth concerning any subjective observation.Eg.the slow fall

of a feather and a tennis ball dropped from a height present two Facts

of observation referred to the irrevocable Truth of earth's

gravitational pull.Thus philosophy implores human minds to be cautious

of this "Trick" of phnomenal presentations and train them to observe

'rationally' from a maze of presented Facts to arrive at the Truth

sifting logically with careful discrimination.

The 'present' we see and experience is the consequence of the 'past' in

general of any related interest. Again to speak of the above "Trick"

looking into star studded night presently is seeing into past events

from stars many light years away. Back on earth if we presently see

events of human world in a given presentation we have also to reckon

with the causative consequences of the past relating to Germany and her

people including policy decision making of their political leaders in

view of my long winding comments and apparently asymmetrical

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