SPIEGEL: We have. And we saw that Turkey, a NATO member, borders Syria, where things are currently seething. Could this conflict spill over into the territory of an alliance member?
De Maizière: The world can't tolerate the regime currently in place in Damascus. But we also have to frankly admit that having Syria disintegrate would be very difficult for the entire region. There's no doubt that we have put too much value on stability in the past and too little on democracy. But developments in the Middle East also show that the best thing would be if we had democracy and stability.
SPIEGEL: Perhaps you will soon have to face the question as to whether NATO should intervene in Syria.
De Maizière: No. The same thing applies in this case as for Libya: We will not get involved.
SPIEGEL: No matter what NATO decides?
De Maizière: It's not unimportant. Either way, I don't believe that there will be a similar type of UN Security Council resolution for Syria.