Clinton Visits Tripoli, Meets with Jibril
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Tripoli Wednesday as the first cabinet-level official to visit Libya since 2008. Senior level State Department officials outlined three main goals for Clinton’s visit: first, to offer congratulations on behalf of the American people for the Libyan bravery, success, and sacrifice; second, to discuss issues of transition; and lastly, to affirm a commitment to “an expanded and deepened partnership” between Libyans and Americans. The partnership, one official added, will be civilian.
At an official meeting with Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, Clinton mentioned a plan to form a high commission to coordinate the Libyan-American relationship, which “will contribute to developing the political, economic, social, and cultural relationship between the two countries.” The partnership will also focus on the exchange of knowledge and expertise, through both Fulbright programs and a “joint scientific authority.” Both leaders affirmed Libya’s sovereignty as the country moves forward, creating its own future. Clinton also announced increased funding for civil society organizations, particularly those that build capacity and engagement for women and youth.
With regards to concerns about the inclusion of Islamists, Clinton asserted, “We will support a process of democratizing that respects the rule of law; that respects the rights of minorities and women and young people; that creates independent institutions, like a free press and an independent judiciary. Groups and individuals who really believe in democracy should be welcome into that process. But groups that want to undermine democracy or subvert it are going to have to be dealt with by the Libyans themselves.”