March 19, 2011 / 12:03 AM / 9 years ago

Germany rejects Libya ceasefire monitoring role

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany on Saturday dismissed a Libyan invitation to send observers to monitor a ceasefire between government forces and rebels, saying that only the United Nations should carry out the task.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim had told reporters in Tripoli that Libya was asking China, Germany, Malta and Turkey to send observers to monitor its adherence to the ceasefire.

A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said: “It’s the job of the U.N. and nobody else to observe the ceasefire or to decide how it should be observed.”

Germany abstained on Thursday from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action to protect civilians in Libya, which its European Union allies Britain and France supported, due to worries there would be civilian victims.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin had opted not to join military operations in Libya. However, Germany was discussing with NATO whether it could take on AWACS aerial reconnaissance duties in Afghanistan.

German politicians had said Berlin might contribute indirectly to the international mission by freeing up U.S. reconnaissance plane crews needed for Libya.

Editing by Kevin Liffey

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