Ambassador Richard Norland met Libyan leaders on a visit to Misrata to support Libyan progress on security, political, and economic dialogue.

Ambassador Norland traveled to Misrata today for meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeg, Minister of the Interior Fathi Bashagha, and others to consult on a wide range of issues in the context of progress in intra-Libyan dialogue, and to encourage support for the UN-led process.  In separate meetings with Deputy PM Maiteeg and Minister of the Interior Bashagha, Ambassador Norland stressed the importance of Libyans finding suitable compromises within the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) and implementing the electoral roadmap as elections approach next December.  Noting the importance of confidence building measures that can support the momentum of intra-Libyan dialogue, Ambassador Norland urged other efforts including steps to build on the ceasefire agreement, such as re-opening the coastal road.

In another meeting with local business leaders, Ambassador Norland heard perspectives on the current business climate in Libya, and potential opportunities and challenges they will face in the months to come.  Ambassador Norland was particularly interested in hearing about possible reforms or policies that could improve the business climate for innovation, new businesses, and foreign investment In this regard, the United States welcomed today’s announcement by the board of the Central Bank of Libya of a unanimous agreement on a new, unified exchange rate, expressing hope that this move could give momentum to LPDF talks and to make progress on implementing the ceasefire agreement.

Following the visit to Misrata, Ambassador Norland said, “I know that many Libyans are frustrated with the pace of progress in the political dialogue and that they still face many hardships.  One purpose of my visit was to see how the United States can help keep the positive momentum moving in the right direction.  Libyans have come a long way in just a few months from instability and armed conflict to genuine dialogue and a ceasefire that is still holding.  I urge all Libyans to work together, find appropriate compromises, and support the road to elections and to a unified, stable Libya with a government that is accountable to its citizens.