LIBYA’S ELECTED OFFICIALS FIND STRONG SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON
LEADERS OF INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED GOVERNMENT AND U.S. OFFICIALS SHARE BELIEFS IN DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES
April 21 2015 (WASHINGTON, DC) A delegation from the House of Representatives of the internationally-recognized and democratically elected government of Libya has received encouragement and support from senior U.S. State Department officials, Congressional leaders and major policy Think Tanks during a week-long visit to Washington, DC. President Barak Obama has also spoken out this week on the need to support Libya and the Representatives have met with White House officials.
“We are encouraged by the strong support for our democratic principles and the need to support the institutions, rule of law and civil society necessary for a free and stable Libya,” said Wafa Bugaighis, Libyan Charge d’Affairs in Washington. “Leaders in the Administration and Congress are supporting our goals and vision for Libya and offering their assistance as we navigate through this difficult and sensitive period.”
The delegation conferred with US government officials and others on a wide range of subjects, including the UN-sponsored political dialogue taking place in Morocco as well as developments in security, counter-terrorism, oil and economic development.
Idris A. ID Almghrby, Chairman of the Libyan Foreign Affairs Committee expressed optimism for the future. “We are working towards a political solution that carries on the democratic process which the Libyan people have established for themselves after decades of oppression,” said Almghrby. “I am encouraged by the support I heard from my counterparts in the US Congress who share our belief that Libya cannot retreat from the path of democracy we have chosen to pursue.”
The delegation also sought U.S. advice and support in capacity building and the reestablishment of the integrity of government ministries and institutions, especially the Libyan military.
Libya hopes to increase co-operation with the United States in confronting terrorism and extremism, especially the growth of ISIS. Various strategies and methods for stopping the flow of weapons and money to terrorist groups and militias were discussed.
“We call on the international community not to wait in helping Libya eradicate terrorism until the government of national unity is formed,” Foreign Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Hammuda A.H. Siala said. “It may be too late by then.”
“Terrorists groups and extremists exploit areas of civil conflict where civil society is degraded. That is why it is so important to help us get Libya on a unified path to peace and prosperity,” said Fatahallah Abdukarem Mohamed, the Chairman of the Defense and National Security Committee. “We do not want to become the next front in the fight against terrorism and extremism,”
Said Ms. Bugaighis, “We and the US share the same goals – one constitution, one government and one Libya. We continue to need support from the United States to help thwart those who pursue anarchy over unity and violence over peace.”
In addition to bi-lateral meetings, the delegation also met with U.S. business leaders and companies that have interests in Libya to discuss future partnerships.
Said Representative Adel Moulod Muftah Mahfud, member of the Economic, Trade and Investment Committee, “Once national reconciliation is achieved, US companies will once again be a strategic partner in the growth of our economy and infrastructure.”