Berlin rejects military action against Libya
Germany on Wednesday rejected the idea of a no-fly zone in Libya, fearing this could lead to "war".
"We have no wish to and we cannot take sides in a north African civil war," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told applauding MPs in parliament.
Setting up a no-fly zone to prevent Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi from using his air force to crush the rebels would amount to military action involving strikes against anti-aircraft defences, he said.
And should a no-fly zone prove ineffective, the question of sending ground troops would come to the fore, he added.
Britain, France and Lebanon -- on behalf of the Arab League -- submitted a resolution Tuesday on a no-fly zone and other measures at the UN Security Council, but it faces stiff opposition, led by China and Russia.
"We do not wish to start down a path which would eventually lead to German soldiers taking part in a war in Libya," said Westerwelle, whose country is currently one of 10 non-permanent UN Security Council members.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on his blog Wednesday that "only the threat of force can stop Kadhafi," while adding that several Arab states were ready to assist Western military intervention.
Juppe was due to hold talks in Berlin on Thursday on his first visit to Germany since taking over as foreign minister last month.
© 2011 AFP