By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 4 December 2013:
US Senator John McCain today stressed Libya’s importance to America, saying the US was “very optimistic” about the country’s future.
“Although these are difficult times, we are very optimistic about the future,” he said, during a visit to Tripoli’s historical Red Castle with US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones.
Despite the difficulties facing the Libyan government and people, he said, the country was moving towards “a free and democratic society.”
America admired the struggle and sacrifice of the Libyan people, he said, adding that the US was keen to help with Libya’s new democracy. This included the proposed training of Libyan soldiers by American Armed Forces.
“I have met with the military here and we are confident that we have plans now for training and equipment for the Libyan military,” McCain said. This support would help the Libyan Armed Forces to carry out their security and border management tasks, he added.
He also said the US was interested in helping with the treatment of Libyans wounded during the revolution, “especially in the area of artificial limbs.”
“It’s great to have the senator back in Tripoli to show the full extent of America’s support for Libya,” President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya (AmCham) Richard Griffiths told the Libya Herald. “As we see US companies, such as Aecom and RW Armstrong, restarting infrastructure projects in Libya, we are encouraged that both political and economic relations between the two countries will continue on a positive path.”
This was McCain’s second visit to Tripoli this year, and he said it was “good to be back in Libya.”