Merkel praises NATO for Libya campaign

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, August 13, 2011

From the Local (Germany):  Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended Germany’s decision not to participate in NATO’s military campaign in Libya, but praised Berlin’s allies for helping oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

In the interview with Bild am Sonntag to be published Sunday, she also said Qaddafi should be tried by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

“We back our allies and I have the deepest respect for NATO’s involvement, she told the paper. “As for our side, we pursued political and economic sanctions against the regime. . . .”

Merkel did not rule out a Bundeswehr participation in a UN-peacekeeping mission in Libya, but would not commit to sending troops. Earlier this week, Merkel and other German officials avoided making any clear statements about sending troops to the country. 

From Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters:  Merkel also went out of her way to praise NATO’s role in bringing about Gaddafi’s downfall — in contrast to her Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, who has controversially said it was U.N.-imposed economic sanctions that led to his downfall.

"I’ve got utmost respect for the NATO operations," she said. "We made clear from the start that no one should confuse our decision to abstain (on the U.N. vote authorizing) with neutrality. We stand firmly behind our allies and NATO."  (photo: Getty)

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