Germany’s Abstention on Libya: Well, I Never!

“I can understand foreign minister Guido Westerwelle’s position”

Sigmar Gabriel,  Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman, as quoted by German weekly Die Zeit on Friday.

“[This looks] as if  Germany was kowtowing to that oil-goodfella.”

Sigmar Gabriel, in an interview on Sunday, quoted by Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany)


Survey quoted by Süddeutsche Zeitung last Wednesday –nearly 90 percent of German public supportive of federal government’s position.

EMNID survey for BILD-Zeitung:
“62 percent support action against Gaddafi.”
“65 percent oppose German military involvement.”


Spiegel Online: Mr. Cohn-Bendit, do you understand your party’s position on Libya?

Cohn-Bendit: No, I don’t. But I don’t understand the other political parties in the Bundestag [German federal parliament] either.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-president of the European-Greens-European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, in an interview published today.


“Despite the risks associated with a no-fly zone, Germany should have voted on the side of its European partners like France and Great Britain.” […] I am pleased by the (Security Council) decision and I sincerely hope that it hasn’t come too late.”

Cem Özdemir, co-leader of the German Greens, in an interview with Spiegel Online on Friday.


“It’s a shame that the federal government abstained.”

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, former minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (Social Democrat)


“Understandable and comprehensible.” “Doubts that the airstrikes will help the Libyan people are justifiable.”

Former foreign minister and social democratic floor leader (federal parliament) Frank Walter Steinmeier (also Westerwelle’s predecessor as foreign minister)


“Germany can forget about a permanent UN security council seat. But what is worse is that pseudo-political signal from the federal government.”

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, in the same Spiegel-Online interview as quoted from in para 3. “Pseudo-political” is meant to criticize the federl government’s alleged domestic policy considerations.


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