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Libya firepower

June 28, 2011

Germany has agreed to supply bomb components and other military ordnance to NATO forces involved in the Libya conflict. Berlin originally abstained from a UN Security Council vote to back the intervention.

NATO aircraft heading for Libya
NATO had requested support from Germany in LibyaImage: picture alliance/dpa

Germany is ready to provide military ordnance to the NATO mission in Libya, despite its UN Security Council abstention against the mission.

The measure - which means Germany would still not be participating directly in military action - was approved by Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, the website of German news magazine Spiegel reported Monday.

A spokesman for the Defense Ministry told the news agency Reuters that a request for supplies had come from the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency.

"The general willingness to provide support was signaled," Reuters reported the spokesman as saying.

While it is unclear what the nature of the weapons might be, it is understood by Spiegel that they may include complete rockets and high-tech guidance systems.

Previous abstention

The agreement to help NATO comes despite Germany refusing to back the mission to enforce the protection of civilians at a meeting of the UN Security Council in March.

Germany broke ranks with Britain, France and the United States to join Russia and China in abstaining from a vote on the issue.

Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that countries at the forefront of the mission, such as Britain and France, were finding the burden difficult to bear and that European allies needed to do more.

Author: Richard Connor (dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler