The following statement was issued by US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns (pictured) in Tripoli:
DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS: Good morning. A year and a half ago, I was here in Tripoli to honor the life and service of my friend, Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three other fallen American colleagues. On that very painful day, we committed ourselves to never lose sight of our shared hope for a free, secure and prosperous Libya.
Libyans know better than any outsider how hard the path has been since then, and how many obstacles remain. Chaos sometimes threatens to overwhelm the promise of the revolution, but Libyans have also shown the will and capacity to overcome the challenges before them. Only they can make the difficult choices that lie ahead. As Secretary Kerry made clear at the Rome Ministerial in March, we stand ready – together with Libya’s international partners – to support their efforts.
I want to thank Acting Prime Minister Thanaie and GNC First Deputy President Ezzedine al Awami for their hospitality. And I want to thank General National Congress and National Dialogue leaders, and representatives of Libya’s diverse civil society and political groups, for taking time to share their perspectives about Libya’s complicated transition.
Together, we looked back at recent achievements, from the elimination of Libya’s chemical weapons stockpile to the election of the constitutional drafting assembly. Together, we looked ahead at significant milestones on the horizon, including the drafting of the constitution, the national dialogue, and the elections. And together, we also talked about how we can put our partnership to work to advance Libya’s security, democratic transition, and economic growth.