Most Germans back Merkel's Libya policy: poll

26th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Most Germans support Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision not to get involved in Libya, an opinion poll showed Saturday, as criticism of her policy grew within her party.

The poll carried out for the weekly Focus showed 56 percent in favour of Germany's abstention in the United Nations Security Council resolution authorising outside military intervention in Libya to stop civilian casualties.

Berlin also declined to take part in NATO's naval enforcement of an arms embargo against Libya, where veteran leader Moamer Kadhafi is battling a rebel movement.

The poll of 1,000 people showed 36 percent considered the UN vote abstention to have been a mistake, an opinion shared by some members of Merkel's right-wing Christian Democrat (CDU) party.

Former defence minister Volker Ruehe branded it an "error of historic dimensions whose long-term consquences will be unavoidable," in an interview to be published Sunday in the weekly Der Spiegel.

"The pillars of party policy have been destroyed by this stance, the result of a combination of absence of leadership and incompetence," he charged.

© 2011 AFP

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