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Germans back troops for EU humanitarian mission in Libya

The Local · 15 Apr 2011, 15:55

Published: 15 Apr 2011 15:55 GMT+02:00

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Fifty percent of people surveyed by Infratest dimap for public broadcaster ARD said they supported German participation in a possible military deployment by the European Union. Some 45 percent opposed sending the country’s soldiers on such a humanitarian mission.

Germany shocked its closest allies last month by refusing to back a UN resolution authorising military action against the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, but opinion polls have shown most Germans support staying out of the conflict.

The survey on Friday also showed that 56 percent did not want Germany to accept refugees from the crisis hit region, while 39 percent of Germans thought their country had a responsibility to take in people.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has irked Berlin’s European partners by saying the waves of boat people leaving North Africa were the problem of Mediterranean EU countries.

Infratest dimap surveyed 1,000 people across Germany on April 12-13.

The European Union and NATO strengthened their coordination Friday for a potential EU military mission to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to Libya's shell-shocked city of Misrata.

One day after attending an Arab League meeting on Libya in Cairo, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met NATO foreign ministers in Berlin to discuss ties between the two organisations and the situation in Libya.

"We also remain seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in Libya and stand ready, if requested by the UN, to send an EU mission to support humanitarian efforts," Ashton said. "Pending the request, the planning is at an advanced stage. And in this context we are coordinating with others, including NATO," she said in a statement after the talks.

The discussions came after the EU overcame Swedish objections to a potential military-humanitarian mission as the bloc approved the first phase of planning for such an operation, a European diplomat said.

The EU and NATO agreed to hold an informal meeting at the level of ambassadors to discuss Libya in the coming weeks, to "avoid a doubling up (of operations) and adjust their activities," a German diplomat said.

The two organisations have exchanged their operational plans for Libya in case the United Nations asks the EU to send a mission to Libya, a NATO official said.

Story continues below…

The EU has yet to make any final decision on a mission to Libya, which would likely include the deployment of ships. Any mission would need the green light from the UN.

The Libya Foreign Ministry warned Monday that "any attempt to approach Libyan territory under the cover of a humanitarian mission will be met with staunch armed resistance."

The Local/AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:31 April 15, 2011 by derExDeutsche
love it. Nice.

I don't believe Germany is 'sneaking' fighting troops into Libya, in the guise of a humanitarian mission.

That said, 'The Libya Foreign Ministry', might want to brush up their resumes, pink slips are being dropped from over head.
17:35 April 15, 2011 by Major B
If this is a "valid" survey then the results are promising.


An evolution of thought and a reflection of common responsibilty?

That said, hopefully planning and the force structure will provide for the "worst case" scenario.

Alright, let's get ready for comments from the "whiners" and "wailers". "Oh, why can't people just stop fighting" they say?
17:43 April 15, 2011 by trash head
>Alright, let's get ready for comments from the "whiners" and "wailers".

Right, after the 2 well known super smart azzes and omniscient criticans released their intellectual scrap, other ppl can make comments.
00:43 April 16, 2011 by Englishted
Trash head its not "whiners" and "wailers".

It was Bob Marley and the Wailers.

But I agree with your other point.
09:21 April 16, 2011 by tallady
I applaud Germany for preparing to give humanitarian aid and assistance to the people of Libya.

but I am disappointed in their reluctance to help with the flood of refugees into Italy.
13:46 April 16, 2011 by Al uk
possible military deployment by the European Union.

Without the US onboard to back it up if the crap hits the fan the above paste is a paper tiger if ever i have seen one.

Germany has had the good sense to stay out of this mess and should carry on the same path.
07:19 April 17, 2011 by Sastry.M
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has proceeded in the correct direction by opening discussions with the Arab League for chalking out modus operandi for possible EU help to meet the ground realities and bring the ageing dictator to his senses, realize changing situations and step down honorably saving himself and his people.

Regarding Germans backing with troops as a humanitarian mission is a highly suspected provocative idea to let unwittingly drag Germans into a mess because their failure of earlier missions of last century against Bolshevism are not exonerated to date. If my memory is sure I recall a caricature in Reader's Digest of 1950's showing German entry into NATO with Gen Heusinger contemplating Eiffel tower with a dangling hook although I cannot exactly recall the intended narrative. However they can be prompted to provide humanitarian aid in kind stipulated within the framework of EU agreements rather than charge them to pay reparations for militaristic misadventures.

As long as the western allies of Germany keep the option of quickly drawing their pointing finger against her past history there is no use of German showmanship for seeking their true sympathy and recognition for restoring their embittered honor.
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