New U.S. envoy to Libya pledges support

TRIPOLI Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:16am EDT

1 of 2. Laurence Pope (C), charge d'affaires to Libya, stands amongst members of the media in front of the Libyan Foreign Ministry in Tripoli October 15, 2012, after his meeting with Libya's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdulaziz.

Credit: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The U.S. envoy sent to Tripoli following the death of the American ambassador in an attack last month said on Monday the United States remained committed to supporting Libya.

Veteran diplomat Lawrence Pope said in his first comments since arriving in Libya last week that the United States would "continue on the path" of ambassador Christopher Stevens, who along with three other Americans was killed in what the United States has called a "terrorist" attack in Benghazi on September 11.

The incident has triggered a debate in Washington over whether the ambassador, and the U.S. mission in Benghazi more broadly, were given sufficient protection.

"The United States remains deeply committed to supporting the aspirations of the Libyan people as they build a sovereign, stable and economically prosperous nation," Pope said after talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdulaziz.

He said the United States was determined to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack which killed four Americans.

The assault forced the evacuation of U.S. personnel from Benghazi, the eastern city that was the hub for the Libyan rebel movement that, with the assistance of NATO-led air strikes, toppled former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year.

Pope came out of retirement to take up the position of "charge d'affairs", the title given to a diplomat who represents a country in the absence of an ambassador.

He had retired in 2000 after a 31-year career as a foreign service officer. He is a former U.S. ambassador to Chad and senior State Department counter-terrorism official. He speaks Arabic and French.

(Reporting by Ali Shuaib in Tripoli; Writing by Tom Perry in Cairo, editing by Diana Abdallah)

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Comments (10)
totherepublic wrote:
They should have support-right after they hand over the Ambassador’s murderers. Not unitl.

Oct 15, 2012 9:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cherokee140 wrote:
You don’t seem to get it… Despite what the administration has been saying, the FBI didn’t get there for three weeks because of “security concerns”. This wasn’t a crime… it was a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda in a country run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Ambassador Stevens knew he was an an al-Qaeda hit list; he saw what was coming; he begged for additional security. Even if the Libyans now hand us people they say are “responsible” all we will be getting are Patsies they are trying to get rid of.

The people responsible are the ones in Washington who allowed this fiasco to develop by denying our ambassador and his staff the security that they were begging for. Truman said “The Buck Stops Here”. What do Obama and his cronies say? They always blame the results of their incompetence on someone else. If you want justice for our American Heroes vote them out of office.

Oct 15, 2012 10:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Melvin54 wrote:
Why is it none of Obama’a money bundler’s who have traditionally gotten ambassadorships have gotten difficult posts such as the one in Libya?

Oct 15, 2012 11:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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