Denmark–Libya relations

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Denmark-Libya relations
Map indicating locations of Denmark and Libya

Denmark

Libya

Denmark–Libya relations refers to the current and historical relations between Denmark and Libya. Bilateral relations are tense because of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and the 2011 military intervention in Libya. Denmark is represented in Libya, through its embassy in Cairo, Egypt.[1] Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal visited Libya in February 2012, for the opening of the new representative office in Tripoli.[2][3]

History[edit]

Kingdom of Libya[edit]

In January 1952, Denmark and eleven other countries sponsored a resolution to admit Libya under King Idris to the United Nations, and recognize Libya as an independent state.[4]

The Gaddafi Era[edit]

After the Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 incident, Denmark with France, Australia and the United Kingdom abstained from voting in the United Nations Security Council.[5][6] After the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, Denmark ordered the Libyan diplomats in Denmark to leave the country.[7] As a response to the expels, the Libyan government expelled a diplomat from Denmark.[8] In January 2006, the Libyan Government closed their embassy in Denmark, as a protest against the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.[9] In 2008, Libya boycotted Danish companies,[10] and excluded Danish companies from big infrastructure projects worth 126.5 billion dollars.[11]

National Transitional Council[edit]

On 18 March, Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen met with National Transitional Council representative Ali Zeidan.[12] On 25 March, Danish politician Naser Khader supported a Danish recognition of the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya.[13] On 19 April, the Libyan Observatory for Democracy and Human Rights, a non-governmental organization and umbrella organization for the National Transitional Council opened an office in Copenhagen.[14] Denmark was among the countries a council spokesman said on 5 May 2011 had recognized the National Transitional Council as the Libyan government. However, Danish government spokesperson Jean Ellermann Kingombe said Copenhagen hadn't taken that step but considers the council "a relevant partner for dialogue".[15] On 22 June, Denmark recognized the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representative of Libya.[16]

Libyan civil war[edit]

On 5 March, during the 2011 Libyan civil war, the Danish Development Minister Søren Pind assisted the United Nations Commission on Human Rights with 30 million DKK to help the Libyan people who have fled to Egypt and Tunisia.[17] On 22 March, Libyan state television launched a propaganda offensive against Denmark, accusing Denmark of having led a campaign against Muslims for several years.[18]

The fact that Denmark which has been conducting for years a campaign against Islam and Muslims through blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed leads the bombing reveals that this aggression is a war of the crusaders against Muslim peoples, including the Libyan people, with the aim of terrorizing Muslims and eradicating Islam.[18]

In April, DanChurchAid sent some deminers to clear mines in Libya.[19] In early April 2011, Denmark considered receiving about 10 Libyan refugees from Lampedusa, Italy.[20] The Danish government considered imposing a freeze on Libyan assets in Denmark. Muammar Gaddafi had about 25 million DKK in Denmark.[21] During the war, the Danish Foreign Ministry made a temporary travel advice for Libya on their website.[22] Libyan consul general to Denmark, Munir Eldawadi, was expelled from Denmark and declared a persona non grata in May 2011.[23] On 9 August 2011, Denmark gave two Libyan diplomats, loyal to Gaddafi, Saleh Omar AbuRwesha and Khaled Mansour Salem el-Asfar five days to leave Denmark, and both were declared persona non grata.[24]

Operation Odyssey Dawn[edit]

On 13 March, by unanimous vote, Denmark's Parliament authorized direct military action by its air force to help enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973, marking the only time so far in the state's history that military commitment was supported by full parliamentary unity.[25] The Royal Danish Air Force is participating with six F-16AM fighters, one C-130J-30 Super Hercules military transport plane and the corresponding ground crews. Only four F-16s will be used for offensive operations, while the remaining two will act as reserves.[26] The first airstrikes from Danish aircraft were carried out on 23 March with four aircraft making twelve sorties as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn.[27] The Guardian reported in May 2011, that Danish F-16 fighters killed Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Arab Gaddafi.[28]

In June, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates praised Denmark, Canada and Norway, saying that although those two countries had only provided twelve percent of the aircraft to the operation, their aircraft had conducted one-third of the strikes.[29]

Hannibal Gaddafi[edit]

In 2008, Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi lost a lawsuit he brought in Denmark against Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. Ekstra Bladet reported that in 2005, Gaddafi, then a student in Copenhagen, had directed the abduction and beating of a Libyan national at the home of the Libyan consul in Gentofte. Gaddafi failed to appear in court to present his side of the case, and the court ruled that the existing evidence supported Ekstra Bladet's version of events.[30][31]

Gaddafi quotes about Denmark[edit]

  • "Libyans do not know Denmark, they do not hate Denmark. They know Italy and they hate Italy."[32]
  • "The protesters were determined to kill the consul and his family when they attacked the Italian consulate in Benghazi. These protesters did not target Denmark because they have no idea about Denmark."[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Government of Denmark. "Danish Foreign Ministry of Affairs: Libya". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark) (in Danish). Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (20 February 2012). "Søvndal i Libyen - åbner nyt repræsentationskontor og annoncerer flere penge til minerydning" (in Danish). Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Denmark Opens New Embassy in Tripoli". The Tripoli Post. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  4. ^ LIBYA'S U. N. ENTRY IS PUSHED BY U. S.; 12 Nations Sponsor Resolution Hailing New State -- Soviet Asks West Shut Bases There. The New York Times. 24 January 1952. p. 4. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Draft resolution "not acceptable" 15 (87). Daily News. 6 May 1986. p. 3. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "VII-AVIATION AND SPACE LAW". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Retaliation fears from Libya intensified (38). Merced Sun-Star. 25 April 1986. p. 24. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Libya expels 17 diplomats (92). The Glasgow Herald. 13 May 1986. p. 6. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Libyen lukker sin ambassade i protest". Danmarks Radio. 29 January 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Libyen boykotter danske firmaer". Politiken. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Libya bars Denmark from big projects". The Times (Malta). 10 June 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Danmark klar til krig uden enighed i NATO" (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Khader: Libysk eksilregering til Danmark". Børsen (in Danish). 25 March 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Libyske oprørere åbner kontor i København". Danmarks Radio (in Danish). 19 April 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Denmark denies officially recognising Libya rebels". Reuters. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Danmark anerkender libyske oprørere" (in Danish). jp.dk. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Danmark giver millioner til Libyen". TV 2 News. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Jakob Busk Olsen (22 March 2011). "Libya accuses Denmark of leading attacks". Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Danske mineryddere rykker ind i Libyen". B.T. (tabloid). 14 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Ritzau (11 April 2011). "Danmark kan modtage flygtninge fra Libyen". Jyllandsposten (in Danish). Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  21. ^ "Gaddafi property in Denmark". Danmarks Radio. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Government of Denmark. "Temporary travel advice for Libya". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark) (in Danish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark) / WebCite. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Denmark expels Libya's consul general". The Swedish Wire. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  24. ^ "DK giver Gaddafi-diplomater marchordre". B.T. (tabloid). 9 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Staff writer (19 March 2011). "Enigt Folketing stemmer for krig i Libyen" (in Danish). Dagbladet Børsen. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Denmark to send squadron on Libya op" (in Danish). Politiken.dk. 184 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  27. ^ "Danish F-16s drop their first bombs on Libya". Flightglobal.com. 23 March 2011. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  28. ^ "Danish jets kill Gaddafi’s son: report". Copenhagen Post. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Cloud, David S. (11 June 2011). "Gates Tells NATO It Must Hold Up Its End". McClatchy-Tribune News Services (via Stars and Stripes). p. 3.
  30. ^ "Gadaffi-søn tabte sag til Ekstra Bladet". Ekstra Bladet. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  31. ^ "Gadaffi Junior tabte til Ekstra Bladet". B.T. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  32. ^ a b "Muammar Al-gaddafi The Libyan Leader". Newsflavor. Retrieved 16 April 2011.