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Germany calls Libyan no-fly zone 'risky'

The Local · 18 Mar 2011, 11:20

Published: 18 Mar 2011 08:03 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Mar 2011 11:20 GMT+01:00

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"We remain eminently sceptical on the option of military intervention... anticipated in this resolution. We see in it considerable risks and dangers. That is why we could not approve this part of the text," a statement said.

"German soldiers will not take part in a military intervention in Libya," he said, but underscored that Berlin's stand on Muammar Qaddafi remained unchanged.

“The dictator must immediately stop all violence against his people. He must leave power and suffer the consequences of his crimes," Westerwelle said.

Responding to accusations that Germany was isolated within the European Union and the NATO alliance with its actions, Westerwelle said the decision to deploy troops was one the country alone could take.

Germany's international partners respect and understand Berlin's decision to abstain from a United Nations resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya, he said.

"I can assure you that we had respect and understanding for our position and our decision even from those that voted in favour" of the resolution to establish the no-fly zone, Westerwelle said.

He added: "I have great understanding for the motives of those that voted for the resolution and the military action."

The UN Security Council voted Thursday to permit "all necessary measures" to impose a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Qaddafi’s military.

Enforcement will rely on air power as the resolution rules out sending ground troops.

The UN vote passed 10-0 with five abstentions in the 15-member council. Permanent members China and Russia were among those abstaining, but did not use their veto power. India and Brazil also abstained.

Diplomats indicated that air strikes from a coalition led by Britain, France, the US and some Arab countries could now be imminent. Canadian media said Ottawa would also send warplanes.

The European Union on Friday welcomed the resolution as the head of the European Parliament said "there was no time to waste" to enforce it.

In a joint statement, EU president Herman Van Rompuy and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said they fully endorsed "the UN demand for a complete end to the violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians."

Reiterating the 27-nation bloc's call for Qaddafi to relinquish power immediately, they urged Libya to rapidly embark on an orderly transition to democracy through broad-based dialogue.

Story continues below…

Resolution 1973 "provides a clear legal basis for the members of the international community to provide protection to the civilian population," the statement said.

"The European Union is ready to implement this Resolution within is mandate and competences," they said.

Libya, despite condemning the resolution as a threat to its unity, said it was ready for a ceasefire with the rebels but wanted to discuss the terms of its implementation, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim told reporters.

Kaaim indicated Libya would "react positively to the UN resolution, and we will prove this willingness while guaranteeing protection to civilians."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:32 March 18, 2011 by catjones
Dangers and Risks...yep, that's what this is all about. No skin in the game Germany once again takes one step back and lets others step up to the dangers and risks. Cowards.
08:51 March 18, 2011 by steve_glienicke
Not sure i can understand where the "Dangers and Risks" in Libya is any greater than the "Dangers and Risks" in Afgahistahn where "German Boots" are firmly on the ground!, but wonder if it is more to do with Exports or future Exports to a oil rich country, rather than a dust bowl that can only grow opium?
08:57 March 18, 2011 by freechoice
being a economic leader in Europe doesn't translate to military leader in Europe. Sad!!
08:59 March 18, 2011 by Victor Scicluna
I totally agree and hope other nations take note, Germany is trying to become a permanent member of the Security Council, we do not need another blocker in the group. Germany the so called land of Democracy and protector of the environment votes along Russia and China .... and looks the other way when it comes to saving human lives.

If Germany does not want to shoulder its responsibility then they should keep out of the Security Council and stick to producing fine good cars and going on expensive holidays.

Clearly they will complain that other nations are getting rebuilding contracts when this is over ...well you can´t have the cake and eat it too.
09:10 March 18, 2011 by Fritz_Patrick
When it comes to saving human lives???

How about saving human lives in Bahrain? In Saudi Arabia?

Are those countries any different than Lybia?

Disgusting double standards, a stinking shame....
09:20 March 18, 2011 by Expat IV
Disgusting, espeically after all of Merkel's rhetoric. When all is over how about banning Germany from buying Libyan oil that the rest of us risked to insure?
09:30 March 18, 2011 by DoubleDTown
Really impressive Germany. I can see why you think you deserve a permanent seat on the Security council. It's because of the bold moves, willing sacrifices, and generous international support Germany is so well known for.
09:44 March 18, 2011 by Victor Scicluna

´´ Disgusting double standards, a stinking shame....``

You are of course right but two wrongs do not make a right, if more nations would do their duty one could do more things but we cannot accuse nations who help one country of double standards if it does not help another.

If I give one €10 to a beggar in the street and look the other side when passing the other one I am using double standards as I help one and not the other one, but of course the real shame is for those who do nothing and help no one or even worse who try to block other people trying to help.

Germany is doing it piece in Afghanistan, so I would say it¦#39;s ok if it says it has no intention of participating in the Libya story too, as it feels other countries should do their part, but abstaining on a vote to block a tyrant from butchering his people is a shame.

This is why I am so against Germany wanting a seat in the Security Council, what it did yesterday is a shame and sign of its future actions.
09:50 March 18, 2011 by Kanji
Sorry am not good in terms of international affairs. So my question is, did Germany lead any peace process in countries that need international intervention in the past?

Sorry if my question is out of the topic.
09:56 March 18, 2011 by Victor Scicluna
@ Kanji

The answer is simple ­ no.

But Germany did take part in the first Gulf War and are offering a good service to Afghanistan, they also do patrolling against piracy on the high seas. I applaud any good action.

Thanks Germany for this .. but shame for yesterday´s abstaining from approving force to help hopeless civilians under threat of extermination from a brutal dictator
10:15 March 18, 2011 by Bravo2
Risks and danger in military intervention? Wow, that Westerwelle is one sharp dude. If there's any fighting to be done, the Americans and the Brits will take the lead again -- with the great help of the Canadians. We always do. Lead, follow, or stay the hell out of the way!
10:16 March 18, 2011 by tallady
My how they have changed,,first Angela Merkel was calling for a no fly zone and an end to Qaddafi when the Opposition was winning ,now the tide has changed and the opposition is on the ropes .along with the German rhetoric .now it is "Risky"... it is all about self interest,,Germany would have to go to Qaddafi with hat in hand for the oil,now that is "Risky"
10:19 March 18, 2011 by Oblomov
The Canadians will take the lead? With which planes? Which planes will the UK provide, btw? This is obviously being seen as an opportunity to get rid of Gaddaffi, otherwise no one would even consider any military intervention.
10:25 March 18, 2011 by Fritz_Patrick
@ Vic

"To block a tyrant from butchering his people" ...You mean like the dozens of US installed dictators throughout history?

Do their duty? What is this - manifest destiny?

You cannot use the beggar analogy because the other beggar, which you "choose" to not help, is in fact, a rich man, someone you protect (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) and who can do as he pleases with his family (the citizens), because he has something you need (oil and strategic location)...You will never, ever dare to say anything to this "beggar", because upsetting him would greatly impact your livelihood...

It would bring you and your country to its knees. So you go and play war in weaker states, because you see the opportunity to make yourself independent of this "beggar", under the pretense of "democracy". You don't give a, excuse my language, fiddler's fart about the people.

Germany made the mistake of getting involved in Afghanistan. Maybe it should be as demented and vile as those who are planning the invasion of Lybia and ensure itself a piece of the black pie.
10:42 March 18, 2011 by Oblomov
Some people here seem to believe that a seat on the Security Council has somehow to be earned by going lock in step with the US and the UK in decisions to bomb someone who has fallen out of grace with the US.
11:03 March 18, 2011 by delvek
Why is it the role of infidels to rescue the chosen? Funny how depending on the subject we are the enemy or the hero.

Why should Western powers act!?!?! Where is the Arab league?!?! I hope the US and its allies take a pass and focus on their own economic problems. If anything send any "extra" resources to aid Japan who has been a good friend to the West.

I commend Germany.
11:10 March 18, 2011 by eddmac
Well done Germany, on the side of common sense once more.
11:11 March 18, 2011 by melbournite
Westerwelle whould spell out exactly what the "risks" are. The risk of killing innocent people, of poisoning the Arab revolution? Or the risk to profits and self-interest? As for the rest of the hypocrites ready to destroy the arms they recently sold to Gaddafi, where is the military action to defend the people of Gaza? Where is a No Fly Zone to stop the Israelis regularly bombing them?
11:22 March 18, 2011 by adipk
Very good another good decision by Govt.

I dont know why all oil producing countries facing current unrest. Please dont tell me that people want change "NOW". I think there is something else going on behind the scene. This ready made change will be reveled automatically after some time. new trusted but corrupt persons are ready to change the seats like in Egypt. New face is ready to takeover but who will check his honesty. Anyway long debate.

@melbournite. your point is valid. UN Security Council must pass another resolution to stop Israel and put no fly zone ban there as well. Let see duel policy of UN
11:29 March 18, 2011 by delvek
haha, I wish the UN security council placing a no-fly zone on a soveriegn country. Who in the UN Security Council besides America can actually enforce a no fly zone over militarily superior Israel? funny.
11:40 March 18, 2011 by storymann
Germany has our back,,buuut waaay back.
11:43 March 18, 2011 by melbournite
"I dont know why all oil producing countries facing current unrest."

I think its decades of repression and Western countries funding dictators. Its like a forest that hasnt had any rain for 10 years, it only takes one spark to set the whole thing on fire. And in these countries it was the death of Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia
12:07 March 18, 2011 by delvek
They have unrest because the citizens of the middle east fail to affect their own future, like other populations.

You either wake up wanting a change or complain about the change that should be given to you, which are you?
12:27 March 18, 2011 by Gilly58
ye ole chestnut...Yawn....Golf anyone?
12:42 March 18, 2011 by freechoice
risks? is there some hanky panky going on with Westerwelle and Gadaffi?
13:03 March 18, 2011 by amaticc
What stupidity, intervention, for saving lives... If there were needs to be any intervention it was at the beginning when opposition had many cities... This time intervention will just prolong war and more people will die... And if changes came instead of dictator they will get a democrat person whose dream is to be reach as the dictator was, and a corruption and so on....
13:49 March 18, 2011 by Dave0
Well done Germany. This UN resolution is tantamount to a declaration of War against Libya. Bullets and Bombs do not discriminate, they kill and maim all. The citizens of both Libya and Deutschland cannot gain anything by aggression nor from any outright attack on Libya. I would have liked Germany, Russia or China to have said NO, rather than abstain, but they have done better than the other 10 members that voted Yes! There are solutions, always, for a better World, Muammar Qaddafi has been in power for decades so why now is it so important to get rid of him? There is a bigger picture here to be looked at, there is a bigger plan being followed and everyone must read between the lines and link up with the other situations going on in the World. This year, 2011, is going to become a heavy year for tragedy and deaths - join the dots and see the plan. Get prepared and pay attention. Thanks again Germany!!!
15:09 March 18, 2011 by Sastry.M
Reminds me of the former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's remark "Germany is an economic giant but a political pygmy". May be Afganistan is proving to be Allemania's mistake committed too early just after a decade of Reunification . Even the grandchildren of United Germany are obliged to study their history text books under the canopy of holocaust memorials after their grandfathers' acievements! And the victors' history texts also remain in ever glory of their heroic grandpa achievements and remind their grand children of the same but keep the blame of shame comfortably on the losers wearing dark glasses.As late as 80's the former German ambassador to London H.Herwarth was horrified after reading English school texts concerning recent German history. Ever since Versailles German people have become accustomed bear boycotts,embargos, solitude among European brethren and perpetual shame copensating with reparation payments just like the Japanese calmness to natural calamities with fortitude. Only recently the last ww1 installments were completed as I remeber from news media.

Onkel Kurt ( Germany) is always O.K and proved himself so shortly after the ghastly ww2 with his economic miracle while others were limping to gain a firm foot hold. Even if he remains isolated with his decisions bearing shame blame it may be safer to cosole his bitter experiences and yet remain an economic giant rather than commit to the wisdom of pragmatic western partners and prove himself to be a political pygmy.
15:59 March 18, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Obama is out to Golf on this one.

And for the first time, I'm glad.

If anyone needs help, its Japan. however, unfortunately for them, Obama will be working on his putting. He's more of an Indonesia guy anyway.
16:34 March 18, 2011 by Major B
On the sensitive subject of military intervention, non-Germans should be very careful with their criticisms.

However, valid the rationale for German participation, it really isn't needed for this situation. A combination of a few NATO AND SEVERAL ARAB nations should work fine.

I am struck by Mark Young's comments in the forward to today's The Local.

"However, considering how actively Westerwelle has been talking up German support for the recent democratic revolutions across the Arab world, it opens Berlin to charges of being all talk and no substance."

But perhaps that's an accurate representation of German leadership in 2011." So telling!!

At any rate, NO AMERICAN PARTICIPATION!!! NONE. NADA!!! Step forward Sarkozy!!! Get the "coalition of cousins" going!!!!!!!
16:37 March 18, 2011 by maxbrando
You Germans are cowards. All of you. You will never live this shame down. Despite what you think you are, you are a bunch of sissies, wusses and worse - a nation that lets female run it. Security for the weakling female, who run your country, is the only consideration The next time (and there will surely be one), the Americans are going to give you to the Russians. Believe me, they will. You are not worth saving as a nation.
16:44 March 18, 2011 by Bob Hawkins
Germany is like the man who holds the coats during a fight,when it's over he will sell you a "better one",don't hide behind history,Germany is still a political Pygmy
17:01 March 18, 2011 by tallady
The enforcement of the no-fly zone should remain in the venue of the EU,although Canada has said it would help enforce it also.

As stated in the Spiegel..Germany lets it's allies go it alone...

France and England are preparing to enforce it, Qaddafi has already relented by calling for a cease fire in the face of the UN's resolution.
17:06 March 18, 2011 by derExDeutsche
at any rate 25 reported killed in Misrata this morning.

I'll use a little 'newspeak' I picked up on thelocal, for all you hippies out there;

'What are you soo Afraid of?'
17:27 March 18, 2011 by tallady
Daveo..."Muammar Qaddafi has been in power for decades so why now is it so important to get rid of him? There is a bigger picture here to be looked at, there is a bigger plan being followed and everyone must read between the lines and link up with the other situations going on in the World"

I think the main reason is that the Citizenry wants a change and he is using his forces and hired forces with out restraint to brutalize his own people.Free nations have an obligation to help those depressed and victimized people wanting and willing to die for freedom and dignity as demonstrated by the Libyans.

I do not advocate putting our boots on the ground in Libya,but do believe leveling the playing field a bit with a no- fly zone is a proper and humanitarian venture that is justified and sanctified by the United Nations and the Arab league of nations.
22:05 March 18, 2011 by sabine1960
QUOTE, Max Brando: ---and worse - a nation that lets female run it. Security for the weakling female,

Reply.Well that`s no worse than the uk`s Margaret Thather, is it???
22:13 March 18, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
A wise decision by Germany not to intervene in a civil war. Indeed the Libyan rebels while in support of a no-fly zone are dead opposed to US-backed Western invasion an occupation of Libya.

Western invasion and occupation of African, Latin American and Asian countries has had an enormous human cost. Thus in post-1950 US Asian wars alone violent deaths and non-violent avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation total 23 million (mostly of women and children), the breakdown being 1 million (Korea), 13 million (Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), 4.4 million (Iraq, 1990-2011) and 4.9 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2011) (see "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950").

Libya has been subject to Western invasion (including invasion by Germany) for 2 centuries. Thus here is a quick summary of Western violation of Libya: US (1801-1805), UK and France (1815), Italy (1911-1912, 1914-1943), GERMANY (1941-1943), variously US, UK, Australia and France (1943-1951), UK, US military presence (1943-1970), Israelis destroyed Libyan passenger plane and 108 passengers (1972), US bombing (1986), UK forces (2011) and now US-backed Western bombing due to start right now.
22:14 March 18, 2011 by Expat IV
The US buys zero oil from Libya, How much does Germany by from there? Yes, The Great Satan has ,again, stepped in to crush a revered fatherly leader in Libya. Why? UN, NATO, Arab League, Germany have all demanded a "no fly zone " then turned to US to carry it out so they won't dirty their hands and have already started villifying the US before anything has taken place.. Thank God for the French, the Brits and the Canadians who have had he balls to step up and take the lead.

Fritz_Patrick and DaveO-- if you are ever being attacked on the street, pray the first person to notice is an American, a Brit ,a Canadian or a Frenchman. If it is a German, you can kiss your a-- good-bye.
05:36 March 19, 2011 by OutWest
"We remain eminently sceptical on the option of military intervention..." And if it were up to Germany, civilians in Benghazi would be crushed. This was a pathetic showing by Germany and does not bode well for its desire to be permanent member of the Council.
08:00 March 19, 2011 by delvek
About 60% of the respondents seriously need a holiday in the sun. Its hard to believe people are bashing Germany for actually practicing their sovereign right to abstain from action that they dont want to employ. I find it refreshing that they take the center stage on being against what is going on but at the same time saying its not their fight, nor should it be.

Its time for the Arab league on the Muslim citizens to affect their OWN change!
15:39 March 19, 2011 by sabine1960
Delvek, l completely agree with your comment, every country has the right to decide its own future and to decide whether to get involved in another country`s war. Britain went into an illegal war in lraq, now the uk is bankrupt, there were no WMD,and the US, and UK, got nice fat building contracts. There are problems everywhere in the world, look at Dafur, but no oil in Dafur so we stayed away.

Re Expats comments, well he must have been away from england for a long time, things have changed, and not for the better. Just a short while ago a person who was sitting by a shallow fountain, fell in, and must have hit their head because they were unconscious, yet EVERYONE sitting in the same place just carried on eating their sandwiches, unbelievable!!! Then at last someone walked past, saw immediately what had happened, pulled the person out and phoned for an ambulance. So EX pat, it`s not all milk and honey in the uk, l can assure you, and there are many more incidences like that. And if you`re so unhappy in Germany, why are you there, no one is holding a gun to your head, are they! l personally love Germany, and visit as often as l can, lch spreche auch relativ gut deutsch, l also speak reasonably good german, l wonder how many expats do!! it certainly helps.
22:42 March 19, 2011 by Chicago1996
Well said Sabine1960. I am also going to extend the invitation to permanently leave the country to maxbrando. It's truly amazing the amount of nonsense that comes out of his mouth.
00:06 March 20, 2011 by wenddiver
@Chicago1969- I think Maxbrando is a Muslim guy posing as an American by his statements. I am the first to admit tha American men are the most P Whipped people on the planet. The truth of the maatter is we enjoy wars as it is a chance to get out of the house and avoid a lot of female directed re-modeling, shopping and chores. Look at the US posts on here, why are American men not all fired up as ussual, ecause deep down we know that Charlie Sheen and Mommar Qadaffi are just doing what we would all do without Female supervision. They are putting into action ideas all guys have, with no apologies. Wouldn't you like to:

1. Ditch the house and live in a low maintenance tent?

2. Have a blonde ukrainiane model as a nurse 24 hour a day?

3. Say bad things about your boss(Charlie Sheen)?

4. Blow up a Disco?

5. Pick out your own clothes?

6. Make movies that hoghlight your own crazy world views( Momar and Charlie)?

7. Tell the world that hanging out in your own house counts as re-hab?

8. Spen all your money on yourself?

9. Sick the secret police on your Mother-in-law?

10. Buy a gold plated machine gun?

I mean if this is about killing Democracy demonstrators, why doesn't the UN attack China (as I recall Tinamen Square used Tanks against Civillians and nobody cared in the UN) or Russia (What spot on earth can say they have killed as many Democracy supporters as Russia?

No theres something else going on here and I hope the US does the absoute minimum, necessary to fufill our idiot President's pledge. We will see how many relatives Obama donates to the cause.
00:52 March 20, 2011 by splitenz
must be really uncomfortable sitting on that wall. A vote for or against shows far more courage. Well done Merkel you really are the colour beige.
13:01 March 20, 2011 by sabine1960
Maxbrando, your Quote about Germany:---"You are not worth saving as a nation".

Germany does not need " saving ", it looks after its ow, and keeps its nose out of other countries` busisess, if every other country looked after its own people we wouldn`t have rebels, or wars!!
16:34 March 20, 2011 by oxymoron70
If I were an italian, british and french I would not sleep comfortably. What makes you think that Qaddafi has all his weapons etc. based in Libya? He is mad, crazy and insane but not idiot.
13:18 March 21, 2011 by sabine1960
Expat1V, your Quote-- UN, NATO, Arab League, Germany have all demanded a "no fly zone "

This is simply not true. Angela Merkel had grave reservations about a no fly zone, and even the heading for this discussion ( look upwards) states " Germany calls LIBYAN no fly zone " risky" , so they have certainly not " demanded " it as you say.
23:38 March 21, 2011 by Yontrop
Germany probable would have voted for the resolution if it would have failed without that vote. Merkel knows that she has no public support for involvement in the no-fly zone and didn't want to be seen as hypocritical by voting for it and not taking part. Most of the criticism at home is just local politics. Here most of the criticism is just mean-spirited twits.
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