Tripoli, 24 April 2014:
US Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns today reinforced America’s commitment to supporting Libya with its efforts . . .[restrict]to rebuild security institutions.
Speaking at a press conference in Tripoli today, he said that the rise of violent extremism was an enormous challenge faced by both Libya and its international partners.
“We recognise the severity of that threat,” he said. “That’s why we have a sense of urgency and such a sense of determination to help Libya build its security capacity to deepen counter-terrorism cooperation and also to promote the kind of healthy political and economic process that increases security over time.”
Ongoing international support for Libya’s efforts to reform the security sector, improve border security and control the proliferation of weapons were some of the areas discussed during his two-day visit, Burns said. Ways to accelerate the progress of planned US training for members of the Libyan military were also covered in discussions with acting Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni and First Deputy of the General National Congress (GNC) Ezzidin Al-Awami.
“Much uncertainty remains and no-one can make Libyans’ choices for them,” Burns said. “But the courage and determination that defeated a dictator can defeat the odds against a successful transition too.” He added that it was very much in the interests of the US and all Libya’s international partners to help make that a reality.
The last time he had been in Tripoli, Burns said, was to honour the life and service of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans who were killed in Benghazi in September 2012. “On that very painful day, we committed ourselves to never lose sight of our shared hope for a free, secure and prosperous Libya,” he said.
Libyans knew better than any outsider how hard the path had been since then, and how many obstacles remained, Burns said. Although chaos sometimes threatened to overwhelm the promise of the revolution, Libyans had also shown the will and capacity to overcome the challenges before them, he added. [/restrict]