Deputy Secretary William Burns visited Libya on Saturday, July 14 for meetings with Government of Libya officials. After meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Abdulrahim Elkieb, he issued the following statement to the press:
Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be in Tripoli. And it’s a pleasure to meet again with the Prime Minister, and with other Libyan leaders at this extraordinary moment.
One week after historic and successful elections, less than a year after a remarkable revolution led to Libya’s liberation, this is a moment in which Libyans can take great pride. It’s a moment filled with daunting challenges, which no one should underestimate. But it is also a moment filled with promise.
Just as we were during the revolution, the United States will be a dependable long term partner for Libya in the transition period which lies ahead. The Libyan people have already demonstrated uncommon courage in their pursuit of the dignity, freedom and opportunity they so richly deserve. And after suffering for decades under the region’s longest-ruling dictator, the people of Libya are now giving new hope to the entire region.
Let me add a few brief points.
First, Libya has already come a long way in a short time. Libya’s leadership has ably guided the country through a complicated period in the country’s history. We congratulate the Libyan people on the July 7 elections, a critical milestone, and the first step towards building lasting democratic institutions. But we recognize that much work lies ahead. The next important step will be ensuring a smooth transition to the elected Congress, and the next cabinet.