FM: Germany not to join Syria war

FM: Germany not to join Syria war
Fri Aug 30, 2013 16:05:17

Germany’s foreign minister has ruled out his country’s participation in a military strike in Syria after an apparent deadly poison gas attack.

Guido Westerwelle told Saturday’s Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung that such a move had “neither been asked nor is it being considered by us”, according to pre-released comments by the paper.

“We are pushing for the United Nations Security Council to find a common position and for the work of UN inspectors to be finished as quickly as possible,” he added.

Berlin had previously said it would support “consequences” against the Syrian government if its suspected deadly use of chemical weapons was confirmed, but it did not specify what the consequences would be.

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin also agreed on the need for the UN Security Council to study a report by UN experts on the alleged chemical attack outside Damascus, the Kremlin said.

But both the chancellor and the foreign minister were deliberately unclear as to what those possible "consequences" could be.

They were just as vague as to whether, and in what form, Germany would take part in these consequences.

Looking at the recent past gives cause for the wary German behavior: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's refusal to participate in the Iraq war a decade ago contributed to his victory in the 2002 election, but strained relations with Western allies, in particular the US.


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