Kerry commits U.S. to Libya stabilisation efforts

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) speaks to the media with British Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) and Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, in London, Nov. 24, 2013. (Reuters)

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday vowed to work with the international community to try and restore order in Libya following a recent escalation in violence.

Kerry was speaking in London following talks with British counterpart William Hague and Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

“We talked to the prime minister today about the things we can do together - the United Kingdom and the United States and its other friends - in order to help Libya to achieve the stability that it needs,” he told a press conference.

“Libya has gone through great turmoil, particularly after the course of the last weeks,” Kerry added.

“And the Prime Minister informed us of a transformation that he believes is beginning to take place and could take place because the people of Libya have spoken out and pushed back against the militias,” he said.

“So this is a moment of opportunity where there’s a great deal of economic challenge, there’s a great deal of security challenge,” he added.

Rebel fiefdoms

Rebels helped topple and kill veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, but have since banded into militias carving their own fiefdoms, each with its own ideology and regional allegiance.

Libya’s government announced plans last Tuesday to remove militias from the capital and eventually integrate them into the security forces, after a weekend of deadly clashes between militiamen and residents.

Hundreds of residents then on Friday called on Libyan militias still in Tripoli to follow other groups and withdraw.

Zeidan stressed that country had lately “done a lot to get rid of the militias” and praised the work of allies who had committed to help Libya.

As a result, he predicted that Libya would become “an active contributor on the world arena.”

Foreign Secretary Hague pledged Britain’s support to help Libya establish security and democracy and, along with Kerry, welcomed the withdrawal of armed militias from Tripoli.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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