• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Germany warns US: no 'red lines' in Syria

The Local · 30 Apr 2013, 07:39

Published: 30 Apr 2013 07:39 GMT+02:00

"I support all forms of political pressure but I currently do not see a role for the military," De Maizière told reporters while on a trip to Washington, rejecting "automatic" military action in response to Syria's chemical weapons.

"Efficient military action would be extraordinarily complex and costly," he warned on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary tribute to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the US capital.

He appeared to be referring to President Barack Obama's past warnings that Syria's use or movement of chemical weapons would constitute a "red line" that could prompt more direct US intervention in the civil war.

The United States said Thursday for the first time that Syria had likely used chemical weapons on a small scale against rebel forces, but emphasized spy agencies were still not 100 percent sure of the assessment.

Obama on Friday promised a "vigorous investigation" into the reports and renewed his warning that proof of their use would be a "game changer."

De Maizière meanwhile urged Germany's Western allies to conduct a joint inquiry into the alleged use of chemical arms.

"We do not have enough information yet," he said.

De Maizière was due on Tuesday to meet his US counterpart Chuck Hagel for talks which would include Germany's potential purchase of three attack Reaper drones and four ground stations.

Such a purchase will be approved by German authorities in May, Der Spiegel magazine's online edition reported on Tuesday morning. The US Congress apparently gave its approval for the sale on April 10th.

The initial request from Germany for the drones was made at the start of last year. US forces use the Reaper as well as Predator B drones for attacks in Afghanistan and along the Pakistan border.

Story continues below…

De Maizière wants to get a basic decision on the purchase before September's general election, the magazine reported, although parliament will not be asked for its approval until afterwards. The Bundeswehr currently uses unarmed Heron 1 drones in Afghanistan, but the agreement for their use runs out in October 2014, the magazine said.

The talks will also cover plans for Afghanistan after the 2014 end of the Nato military mission there. Germany was the first Nato member to sign up for a continued training and advisory mission, and promised up to 800 soldiers. The US has not yet made a commitment.

AFP/DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Far-right AfD reach record high in national poll
AfD leader Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) was backed by 16 percent of respondents in a new poll, which was a new high for the upstart populist party.

Bautzen youth beat up pensioner in racist attack
Photo: DPA

In the Saxon town of Bautzen, which has become a byword for racism and anti-migrant sentiment, two youths have attacked a 72-year-old man, shouting 'foreigners out'.

German lawmakers ratify landmark Paris climate accord
The German parliament (Bundestag). Photo: DPA.

Germany's lower of house of parliament on Thursday ratified the Paris agreement on climate change, following in the footsteps of 60 other countries that have committed to the landmark agreement designed to stem the planet's rising temperatures.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,781
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd