U.S. envoy in Tripoli hails new rulers on security

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 14, 2011 8:09 AM
U.S. envoy in Tripoli hails new rulers on security

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A senior U.S. diplomat visiting Tripoli on Wednesday said Washington was encouraged by the increasing control Libya's interim government was exercising over security forces and would reopen its embassy in the capital as soon as possible.

In a statement, Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, also said the United States was committed to continuing military operations with NATO as long as they were needed to protect Libyan civilians.

"The United States and our international partners have an enduring commitment to supporting the Libyan people as they chart their country's future," Feltman said after meeting the head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

"This includes working with NATO and our coalition partners to continue operations to protect Libyan civilians until they are no longer under threat.

"We remain encouraged by growing command and control over security and police forces. We understand that this is a difficult task. Libya's interim leadership is solidifying the steps and integrating militias under one civilian authority."

He added that the United States aimed to open a fully functional, fully staffed embassy in Tripoli.

(Reporting by William Maclean; Writing by Alastair Macdonald)