Merkel favours Libya oil embargo

21st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday she was in favour of a Libyan oil embargo and that Berlin would help the international mission there by offering more assistance in another operation, Afghanistan.

"I have said that an oil embargo could be very helpful in conjunction with measures against Libya," Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

"I hope that the (German) foreign minister can make clear again in Brussels today when it comes to sanctions that this is what we want."

The European Union on Monday agreed new economic sanctions against Moamer Kadhafi's regime, targeting both individuals and economic entities, diplomatic sources said.

The major new sanctions, the third wave of restrictive EU measures slapped on the Libyan strongman, apply to 11 Kadhafi associates and nine economic entities and are expected to be enforced some time this week.

A fourth series of sanctions will also be discussed next week in Brussels, a diplomat said.

Germany, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, abstained in a vote on Thursday to permit "all necessary measures" to establish a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Kadhafi's military.

Merkel again defended the German stance, saying that despite the abstention, Berlin wanted the military mission spearheaded by the United States, Britain and France to be successful in stopping Kadhafi's forces.

"We want the resolution to be applied successfully. Germany is contributing in that the government is of course ... allowing the current operation to be coordinated in Stuttgart," Germany, Merkel said.

She also said that Berlin would help the mission by putting German crew members on board AWACS radar aircraft in Afghanistan, where her country has around 5,300 troops.

"In my view the AWACS decision could be made this week in the German parliament," she said.

German government sources said that NATO had made a request to Germany to this end.

Merkel stressed that Germany had in the past taken part in international missions that the United States and Britain had not participated in, for example in Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

© 2011 AFP

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