Germany slams 'dangerous' Sarkozy comments

25th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany's foreign minister Friday said it was "dangerous" to threaten military action against other autocratic Arab leaders after Libya, in a clear swipe at French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"I am very concerned by the latest public remarks, including from European partners, that we are not just talking about Libya but also about other Arab leaders," Guido Westerwelle told a Berlin radio station.

"I warn against having a discussion in Europe about the possibility of military intervention everywhere in North Africa or the Arab world where there is injustice.

"I see this as a really dangerous discussion with difficult consequences for the region and for the Arab world as a whole."

Sarkozy -- whose country has been at the forefront of military action against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's regime while Germany has refused to participate -- had made the warning in Brussels late Thursday at a European Union summit.

"France calls for there to be no violence against protesting civilians, it is their right to demonstrate," the French leader had said.

"Every leader, and (every) Arab leader in particular, needs to understand that the reaction of the international community will be the same every time," he said.

Westerwelle said: "We do not see it as a solution that we threaten every Arab leader with military intervention by the international community and Europe every time."

Violence is not always the result of clashes between "democrats and autocratic systems", noting that they could have a tribal or a religious background, Westerwelle said.

© 2011 AFP

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