Saturday, 19 March 2011

Libya: Germany´s strange bedfellows

                                                  A diminished Merkel

Angel Merkel is now participating in the international Libya no-fly zone meeting in Paris trying to look like a serious international actor. But Der Spiegel gives us the true picture:

When it came down to the crunch, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle decided that Germany should side with China and Russia. Together, the three members of the United Nations Security Council abstained from Thursday's vote on a resolution to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. It is a curious political development, to say the least.

The trio makes for strange bedfellows. There is Germany, a democracy which puts great store in the rule of law and human rights, siding with a communist, one-party dictatorship and a country with a dubious track record on political freedoms. On the other side are Germany's traditional allies -- the United States, France and Britain -- not to mention parts of the Arab and African world. Lebanon had been one of the countries presenting the resolution, which was backed by the Arab League. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have already said they would take part in a military operation, according to UN diplomats.

And despite the Libyan regime's move on Friday afternoon to declare a cease-fire -- at least for now -- and inviting international observers into the country, Berlin's move could have lasting repercussions. Although Berlin has not blocked military action by abstaining, the German government has marginalized itself. It is effectively telling its allies: You will have to deal with this one alone -- we're not going to help you.

Read the entire article here.

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