BERLIN — Germany, already at odds with its European allies and Washington over its decision not to support a United Nations no-fly zone over Libya, said on Wednesday it was withdrawing four vessels from NATO operations in the Mediterranean because it did not want to be dragged into a military role in the region, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière, said on Wednesday.Read the rest here.
The decision means that Germany will withdraw two frigates and two support vessels with a total of 550 sailors from NATO’s command and place them under its own orders. It was made after the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced that the alliance would monitor sea traffic in the region and intercept vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries to Libya.
“All allies are committed to meet their responsibilities under the United Nations resolution to stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians,” Mr. Rasmussen said.
But the German Defense Ministry said that because the mission included an arms embargo that permitted force if necessary, Germany decided it would not participate.