German calls for tougher sanctions against Libya
Updated: 2011-03-24 21:11
BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called for extensive sanctions against Libya and defended Germany's abstention on a UN vote approving military action in the North African country.
"I hope we can finally reach a joint agreement on a complete oil embargo and extensive trade sanctions against Libya," Merkel told parliament, echoing Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's words from the day before.
Merkel also voiced support for the aim of the recent UN resolution against Libya, but defended her government's abstention from Thursday's vote.
The UN Security Council authorized the no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians after Gadhafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who wanted him to leave after 42 years in power.
"The German government supports the targets of this resolution without any hesitation," Merkel told parliament, "The effects of the military actions are still disturbing. We hope to have quick and sustainable solutions for reaching UN goals."
The abstention caused widespread criticism in Germany, from Merkel's own party and the opposition.
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