The following is the full text of the press conference with Prime Minister Zeidan [Zidan] and US Secretary of State John Kerry:
SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everyone. I want to offer a very warm welcome to Prime Minister Zeidan of Libya. This is the first visit to Washington of the Prime Minister as prime minister, but it’s an historic visit, and the reason is very simple: He represents his country’s first democratically elected government in more than 40 years. And we all join in celebrating what has been accomplished in Libya: the liberation of a country that had been under the yoke of a dictator for decades.
The community of nations is very, very proud that we helped to give the Libyan people a fighting chance for their future and that we helped to prevent the slaughter of thousands of lives. So the fact that the Prime Minister is here with us today is testament to how far Libya has come, and frankly, how quickly it has come that far.
The Libyan people have begun to chart the course for their own future, and they’re defining it. Obviously, there are challenges ahead – we all understand that – from building political consensus to strengthening the security, protecting human rights, and growing the Libyan economy, which we were just talking about a few minutes ago.
The Prime Minister, I think, understands, but I want to reiterate to him today, that the United States will continue to stand with Libya during this difficult time of transition. We will cover a great deal in our meeting, but in the meeting that we just had, we talked about the difficulties of this transition period and the challenges, but also the wonderful assets that Libya has – great, intelligent people, not that big a population, and wealth through the oil resources. Libya is a country that can win this future, and we believe in that.