• Germany's news in English

Berlin rules out intervention in Syria

The Local · 20 Jun 2011, 08:47

Published: 20 Jun 2011 08:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It is the same as in Libya: we will not take part," he told the news weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published on Monday.

De Maizière said he did not expect the United Nations "to provide a Security Council resolution along the same lines for Syria" as it had in March in the case of Libya authorising military action to protect civilians.

Several European nations - notably Britain, France, Germany and Portugal - have joined Washington in pushing for a UN resolution condemning the crackdown but this is opposed by permanent Security Council members China and Russia.

Germany, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, controversially abstained in the March vote on Libya - the only NATO or European Union member to do so - and declined to join the NATO-led air war there.

Asked if he had a "guilty conscience" over opting out of the intervention in light of NATO's current supply problems there, De Maizière criticised the alliance's planning.

"Of course when you start something you must always know how long you can continue," he said, adding that Berlin had rebuffed another US request at a NATO meeting this month for military assistance in Libya.

He added that he saw little likelihood of Germany taking part in any peacekeeping force in Libya if strongman Muammar Qaddafi fell from power.

"An international peacekeeping force is a hypothetical thing which would only be necessary if Libya broke apart and one had to separate the warring parties," he said.

Story continues below…

"In a country that is hopefully developing democratically that would neither be necessary nor desirable. I hope that it will not come to a military operation of that kind, because Libya will hopefully remain united and develop democratically."

At the NATO meeting earlier this month in Brussels, De Maizière said Germany would be ready to consider sending peacekeeping troops to a post-Qaddafi Libya in remarks that met with criticism in Berlin.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:32 June 20, 2011 by Bushdiver
Did anyone think anything differently of the Germans) I think they should just throw Germany out of the UN.
10:16 June 20, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
@Bushdiver: are you serious or is that irony? Isn't the desaster in Libya enough? Okay then, let's attack and bomb all countries worldwide which systematically violate human rights, no matter what the outcome is or how high the costs will be. We still have to much money, away with it! And when we look to Iraq and Afghanistan, we can see blooming democracies, fruits of two glorious wars. What, China methodically violates the rights of her citizens, too? Never mind, send the NATO-fleet and teach them a lesson!
10:21 June 20, 2011 by harcourt
It would be interesting to know under what circumstances, and where, Germany would be prepared to intervene ANYWHERE in the world. Unless it is dragged in, kicking and screaming, by its association with an organisation, for instance NATO, as is the case in Afghanistan.
10:31 June 20, 2011 by dirving71
No surprises here.
11:43 June 20, 2011 by tty

Surely that must mean that the US would also get kicked as well? Bahrain, Saudi Arabia...
12:20 June 20, 2011 by adipk
Even Us also need punishment coz of Human rights. Who said there is no violation.
13:44 June 20, 2011 by frankiep
This is getting to be almost scandalous. I'm not talking about Germany not joining in on these various operations - I'm talking about NATO deciding on it's own that it has the right and responsibility to bomb the hell out of whoever displeases it.

NATO was formed as a defensive alliance - with the idea being that if one member were to be attacked that the other members would join in its defense and response. Libya did nothing which warranted a NATO attack and neither has Syria. You warmongers seem to want to bomb a new country every couple of months, but your pathetic attempts at justification are becoming weaker and weaker. I honestly am starting to think that some people just will not be happy until they see half the world going up in smoke - all in the name of 'helping' of course.
16:03 June 20, 2011 by harcourt
UN resolution 1973: If any country feels that NATO has gone beyond its mandate they are welcome to step up to the plate and try and get a counter resolution through the UN !!
16:59 June 20, 2011 by inccmdr
NATO is an anachronism. There is no real coalition, it is slow and sluggish, and now, everyone is a member of it. The US needs to drop out of NATO and bring all of it's troops home. Andrew Bacevich states it so clearly in the "Limits of Power": the US military is so spread out throughout the world that it no longer has a defense capability. Let Europe, Asia and the Middle East find their own equilibrium without the presence of the US military. The US can no longer afford to provide defense capabilities for these nations.
18:38 June 20, 2011 by derExDeutsche
The warmongers here on this site want for only 1 thing, a communist middle east. they believe this is their opportunity for a communist revolution. The reason these same warmongers were sooo against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is because they knew that those countries wouldn't be taken over by the Anti-Israel Socialist Muslim Brotherhood.
19:27 June 20, 2011 by ovalle3.14
It beats me how there's still so many people in this planet who really believe these interventions happen out of humane reasons.
21:55 June 22, 2011 by Masmuka
Everybody on Earth has a right to live in their own orientation and all wonderful people in Syria as well. Please only compare the opportunity of a Deutsch Person on political elections.....they can choose Conservative, Liberal, Left, Social, Green, Marx, Nazi, Communistis +++++++ a.s. o. and look at what a Syrian can do.

Assad with his Barh Party are corrupt thugs and they must go whatever it costs -- that's all.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

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 towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

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
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