BRUSSELS, May 9 (Reuters) - Germany would consider sending troops to Libya as part of a U.N. military force once Muammar Gaddafi is ousted, Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Thursday.
At a meeting of ministers in Brussels, de Maiziere said he hoped Libya would not end up needing a foreign military presence but added: “But if things don’t end up that way, then we would try it — and try it constructively,” said de Maiziere.
NATO is looking for broader support for its bombing campaign in Libya, with only eight of the 28 NATO allies actually taking part in the air strikes. All NATO members agree Gaddafi must go but not all believe military intervention is the best way.
NATO says its bombing campaign has greatly reduced the capacity of Gaddafi’s forces, but analysts say the conflict could drag on for many months.
De Maiziere said Berlin stood by its decision not to join in NATO air strikes but would help rebuild Libya once he is ousted, for example by helping to build up infrastructure and security forces. (Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Stephen Brown in Berlin; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)