Press Statement: Ambassador Bodde

Tripoli: May 23, 2017

Today, my colleague AFRICOM Commander General Tom Waldhauser and I had a warm and productive meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. While we have met together in many capitals, we are particularly pleased to be here today together in Tripoli.

In our meeting, we reiterated United States support for Libya as a unified, secure, and prosperous state under a government that can serve the Libyan people. We applaud the ongoing Libyan dialogue on how to form a government that has broad acceptance across Libya, within the framework of the Skhirat Agreement. We welcome Libyan efforts to draft and ratify a new constitution and to hold general elections next year. We also support the Government of National Accord making the difficult decisions required to invigorate the economy.

Libyans have fought courageously and made great sacrifices to defeat terrorist groups, including in Sirte and Benghazi. We thank Prime Minister al-Sarraj for his ongoing strong partnership in combating ISIS and other UN-designated terrorist groups, and we stand with all Libyans in combating terrorism anywhere in Libya. We call on all Libyans to avoid further conflict that could lead to a civil war, and would enable terrorism and increase social and economic hardships. We oppose efforts by any side to take territory or change the situation on the ground by force. We are deeply concerned about the recent violence in southern Libya. I am encouraged that Prime Minister Sarraj initiated an investigation into the allegations of human rights abuses at Brak al-Shati airbase. We urge all sides to exercise restraint, de-escalate tensions, and cease military action.

The United States is providing Libya with assistance to address humanitarian needs, repair infrastructure, strengthen democracy and rule of law, and build the economy. This includes assistance to Sirte, where the population suffered so much from the ISIS occupation. We are working closely with Libya to expand its counter-terrorism capacity and stand ready to help Libya train professional armed forces as we strengthen cooperation on our shared regional security goals.

The visit today demonstrates the continued commitment of the United States to the Government of National Accord and to political reconciliation in Libya. We urge all Libyans in the East, West and South to join together in a shared effort to ensure their mutual security and prosperity.