"Wir mussten nach dem Irakkrieg voran gehen und die Realitäten sehen"
"We had to move forward after the war and see the realities
Bundesaußenminister Fischer im Interview mit der indischen Zeitung "The Hindu"
External Affairs Minister Fischer interviewed by the Indian Newspaper"The Hindu"
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir ein Interview, das Bundesaußenminister Fischer während seines Indienaufenthalts der indischen Zeitung "The Hindu" gegeben hat (Erscheinungsdatum: 21. Juli 2004). Dabei wurden die Themen Vereinte Nationen, Deutsch-Indische Beziehungen, Irak und Europa angesprochen. Das Interview ist nur im englischen Original verfügbar. Daher die wichtigsten Aussagen zusammengefasst:
Und nun also der Text des Interviews (englisch).
The Hindu: During your interaction with our External Affairs Minister, Mr. Natwar Singh, you agreed that India and Germany should work together to claim their rightful place as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Does this mean the two countries will be setting up a new institutional mechanism that will facilitate the attainment of this objective? What's the conceptual framework you have of a transformed Security Council?
Fischer erwähnt die Übereinstimmung zwischen der indischen und deutschen Regierung bezüglich ihres gemeinsamen Strebens nach einem ständigen Sitz im UN-Sicherheitsrat.
Fischer betont die Möglichkeiten des kulturellen Austausches zwischen Indien und Deutschland. Auf die Wirtschaft angesprochen, verweist er auf den im Herbst 2004 bevorstehenden Besuch des deutschen Bundeskanzlers in Indien, in dessen Tross sich eine größere Gruppe von Unternehmern und Wirtschaftsverbandsvertretern ("a strong business delegation") befinden wird.
Fischer weist auf die EU-Erweiterung sowie auf die Notwendigkeit hin, die neue EU-Verfassung zu ratifizieren.
Dann wird Fischer gefragt, ob er sich eine engere Kooperation zwischen Europa, Russland, China und Indien vorstellen könnte - als Gegengewicht gegen die USA. Deutschland habe ja immer einen "multipolaren" Ansatz vertreten. - Fischer weist den Begriff "multipolar" zurück. Er verwende nur den Ausdruck "multilateral". Denn an der Tatsache, dass es nur eine Supermacht gebe, sei nun einmal nicht zu rütteln. Es käme auch nicht darauf an, der einzigen "global power" USA etwas entgegenzusetzen. Vielmehr müsse es darum gehen darauf hinzuarbeiten, dass sich die USA als Teil des UN-Systems verstehen. Schließlich gibt Fischer zu bedenken, dass der Gedanke an ein "Gleichgewicht" der Kräfte ("balance of power") dem 19. und 20. Jahrhundert entsprungen sei. Im 21. Jahrhundert hätte ein solches System keine Gültigkeit mehr.
Fischer widerspricht dem Interviewer auch in der Irakfrage. Der Interviewer sprach von einer nur "symbolischen" Machtübertragung an eine irakische Interimsregierung. Fischer sieht darin aber sehr viel mehr: "Es ist mehr als symbolisch. Es ist ein Prozess." Daher sei es für Deutschland als ehemaligem Kriegsgegner auch richtig, die Vergangenheit auf sich beruhen zu lassen und nur noch nach vorn zu sehen. Die UN-Resolution 1546 sei "exzellent" und die Einsetzung der Interimsregierung ("transitional government") sei der "Anfang der Übertragung von Souveränität" an den Irak ("the beginning of a transfer of sovereignty"). Deutschland werde sich aber nicht mit Truppen im Irak angagieren. Auch auf die Nachfrage, ob es auch dabei bleibe, wenn z.B. die irakische Regierung Truppen anfordere, sagte Fischer, Truppen kämen nicht in Frage, Deutschland beteilige sich vielfältig auf andere Art am Wiederaufbau vom Irak.
Auf die abschließende Frage nach den Perspektiven der EU angesichts eines nur sehr schwach entwickelten europäischen Bewusstseins antwortet Fischer mit dem Hinweis darauf, dass das Interesse der Bevölkerung an Europa schon vorhanden sei, es fehle aber die "Person, die Europa repräsentieren" kann. Demokratie funktioniere eben so, dass man Personen braucht.
Joschka Fischer: Well, before I answer the question let me convey my deepest condolences over the terrible news that so many children have died [in the school fire in Kumbakonam]. We mourn with the families of the victims and with the Indian people.
Now to answer your question. There is an ongoing debate about the reform of the U.N. system and everybody who is in favour of a strong multilateral system in international politics must have an interest in the reform of the U.N. India and Germany have agreed that we will support each other to become a permanent member in the reformed Security Council. We will cooperate in an informal framework, especially in the debate about the reform in the U.N. system.
You have just spoken about India being a nuclear power and Germany not being a nuclear power. How do you see this working out in the reformed system? Will it create complications?
Well, I think we have every interest in seeing that the military use of nuclear power will be contained. There are differences in the world community. But in the existing Security Council, you have permanent members who are nuclear powers. So from our view, we have a common interest in a strong multilateral system and this means also the reform of the U.N. system, including the Security Council. But definitely we have - as a nuclear power on the one hand and a non-nuclear power on the other hand - a different view about that issue.
India and Germany have enjoyed a stable and productive relationship for many years. Can you focus on the fields in which cooperation can be enhanced? How can the quality of the overall relationship be enhanced? To what extent will this interaction follow the direct bilateral route? And to what extent will it be routed through the medium of the European Union?
Well, first of all, everybody is talking today about the economy. Let me begin with culture. Your great country has a great tradition, a great culture. Your culture has been admired, not only today but also in the past, by so many Germans. I think this is an important pillar of our relations. Of course, the economy, the political cooperation, a similar perspective of the world of tomorrow in a multilateral system - but mostly the economy, I think - offers us new opportunities to develop our relations.
The German Chancellor will come to visit [India] in the autumn; he will be accompanied by a strong business delegation. There is close cooperation between companies in Germany and in India. Especially in the information technology sector, there is excellent cooperation. So I think we can move forward. There's a great interest in a whole variety of economic cooperation.
With respect to political cooperation, the talks I had recently in New Delhi with the new government were open, friendly and, I think, fruitful. We cooperated also excellently with the former government on many political issues. The European Union will be more and more important. We are moving forward not only with enlargement - we have now 25 member States - but also in the political integration, in the common foreign policy and security policy. We have big challenges ahead of us. We have agreed upon a new Constitution, which is very important for the integration of the greater European Union. I think that also between Brussels and New Delhi there should be a higher level of cooperation.
The events of the last three years have shown that global stability and peace cannot be the sole prerogative of a superpower, that no nation, however powerful, has the wisdom or the resources to tackle major issues by itself. Germany, in fact, has been one of the staunchest proponents of a multipolar global order. It has strongly advocated a multilateral approach to issues of conflict, peacekeeping, and nation- building. Do you think there is scope for closer coordination, practical coordination, between the European Union, Russia, China, India, and countries like India - not as a bloc that opposes the U.S. but as a concert of countries that can exert a restraining influence? I am sorry this is a long question.
....... I never use the concept, `multipolar'. I use `multilateral'. Because in the existing reality, we have only one global power: whether you like it or not, this is the United States. And we have the U.N. system. What we can see in the Iraq crisis is that the U.N. system creates legitimacy: because the agreement of the world community creates legitimacy. We have had this experience in Afghanistan: India has been contributing very much to the reconstruction of Afghanistan; we are also strongly engaged there.
But the issue is legitimacy. From my point of view, we shouldn't discuss the world of tomorrow in terms of becoming a balance to the United States. The real issue is whether the United States will define herself as part of the U.N. system - or not. And we all together have an interest in discussing with our American friends that they are a part of the U.N. system. Of course they are in a unique role given their size, their weight, their strategic importance. But I think the discussion in the United States is moving in that direction and we should really move forward together with the United States...
The United States is our most important ally. They helped us many times. Without the United States, the unification or German democratisation after the Nazi period would have been much more complicated, or almost impossible. They defended us during the Cold War, the western part of our country. But as close friends - our understanding of friendship is that a friend must tell a friend if someone realises that the friend is going in the wrong direction or is doing wrong things.
I don't believe, in the 21st century, in the balance of power system. This is a European idea of the 19th and 20th centuries. Look, what will we do in a globalised world? All human beings are equal, so they have the same right to have the same lifestyle, if they like, the same social security, jobs, education for the children - and make their dreams come to reality. It's not only the West that has the right to do that! Because all human beings are equal. If this is accepted by everybody, then we will have to manage in the 21st century this global world - in economic terms, in security and peace, in the management of global resources, against global diseases like HIV- AIDS, malaria and others. These are the challenges of the future and we must contribute from our different histories, different perspectives and experiences to common solutions that must be based on compromises.
If we may zoom in on Iraq, there's been a symbolic transfer of power to an interim government. Would you agree that this is a symbolic and not real transfer of power?
It's more. It's more than symbolic; it's a process. We were in opposition to the decision to go to war. But after the war happened, it was quite clear that you could not sit there and look ... there would be a breeding ground for terrorism or a new collapsed or failed state named Iraq! So whether we liked it or not - and we didn't like it - we had to move forward after the war and see the realities. What we did in Afghanistan was also to organise a process of the transfer of power. Now [Lakhdar] Brahimi [Special Advisor to the U.N. Secretary- General] was one year later! I think the situation would be better had we started immediately after the war.
With a resolution like 1546
- I think it's an excellent resolution - and Brahimi tried his best. And he achieved the process. We started with a transitional government. A transitional government is the beginning of a transfer of sovereignty. But they are moving forward. It's a question of Iraqi security - restoring Iraqi security, restoring order - and moving forward with the political process. Especially the election date at the end of the year will be crucial. So this will be the moment, based on free and fair elections, [to see] whether it will be a true transfer of sovereignty. We must move forward in that direction. This is in the interest of the region and of international peace and security.
But we will not send troops. ...Germany is not committed to [sending] troops to Iraq and we will not commit ourselves with troops.
Even if Mr. [Iyad] Alawi [`Prime Minister' of the interim government in Iraq] is to make a request?
We will not commit ourselves with troops. We are ready to train new Iraqi forces outside [Iraq]. We are ready, and we did it, to train police forces. We did it in Abu Dhabi together with our friends in Abu Dhabi. We were ready for humanitarian aid. We had debt relief and we are also ready to contribute to the reconstruction - our business community is ready as soon as the security situation allows serious reconstruction efforts. But we will not commit our troops to Iraq.
Aren't we seeing the process of installing yet another strongman and the setting up of another police state?
We shouldn't be so pessimistic. We should be optimistic and try our very best. The situation is complicated, no question about that! But we should really move forward to the elections. I think this offers a real opportunity in a very, very dangerous situation. The situation in Iraq is dangerous but the regional situation is also very complicated and precarious.
Do you see real scope for countries like yours, France, Russia, playing an enhanced role, an expanded role, in this new context that you just described?
We have an interest in excellent relations - and also strategic relations - because we are neighbours as Europeans with Russia. We are cooperating very closely. But we are allies with the United States in the NATO framework, in the transatlantic relationship. And knowing the history of Europe and knowing the history of transatlanticism, I think this continues to be important for Europe. Once again I think that we should really discuss with our American friends about the future of the 21st century. This is an ongoing discussion in the United States behind the election debate. Some of the ideas are bipartisan.
The European Union appears to have arrived at a crossroads. While the framing of a Constitution seems to be a positive sign, the voter response in the recent elections to the European Parliament was clearly disappointing. In an editorial we expressed the view that perhaps the idea of a united Europe has not yet sunk deep into the consciousness of the people of the continent. The simple question - whither Europe?
Once again I don't share that pessimism. Firstly, the participation in European elections was always not very exciting. There was a reason. I was campaigning for the European Parliament. I was driving round the country in a bus, for eleven days. People are very interested in European issues but they don't see the person who is representing Europe. This is a very democratic reaction, because people want to know. You need persons: you must see the persons who are in charge and who are responsible, persons you can punish or vote for. This is the big problem and therefore we now have this Constitution: a strengthening of the European Parliament so that the Parliament really has the power to decide; the Commission - the President of the Commission will be more and more visible as the decisionmaker. This is a development and I'm not pessimistic.
Erschienen: 21.07.2004; Quelle: www.auswaertiges-amt.de
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