News / Europe

Cameron Says Britain Will Train Libyan Security Forces

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in Tripoli, Jan. 31, 2013
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in Tripoli, Jan. 31, 2013
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— British Prime Minister David Cameron used a surprise visit to Tripoli on Thursday to pledge Britain's help in training Libya's security forces, part of broader European efforts to counter Islamic militancy in North Africa.
       
In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers approved the outline of a mission to help Libyan authorities tighten border security to combat arms-smuggling and stop militants crossing the border. The training and advisory mission is expected to involve about 70 civilian experts and to be launched by summer.
       
Concern over security in the vast tracts of the Sahara has grown after Islamic militants seized hostages earlier this month at Algeria's In Amenas gas plant. Up to 37 foreigners died after troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis, which saw the killing of 29 hostage-takers.
       
Cameron flew into Tripoli from Algiers, where he also pledged to cooperate on security and intelligence. In the Libyan capital he visited a police training academy and Martyrs' Square. He has called North Africa and the Sahel a "magnet for jihadists"' and warned of a "generational struggle'' against them.
       
However, he has shied away from a major military response and instead espoused empowering regional governments to take the lead in security and bolstering the rule of law and democratic institutions.
       
"There is no true freedom and no true democracy, without security and stability as well. We are committed to helping with that both here and also in your neighborhood,'' Cameron said at a news conference with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
       
"We've agreed a package of additional help from Britain to Libya - increasing the military training we are providing, increasing the police advisers ... We've also discussed how we can help build the institutional capacity of the new Libyan government,'' he added.
       
Cameron last visited Libya in 2011 along with then French President Nicolas Sarkozy after rebels ousted former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi with French, British and U.S. backing.
       
At the time he called Benghazi, the cradle of the uprising against Gaddafi, an "inspiration to the world''.
       
Since then, Libya's second city has been disrupted by violence and become a base for Islamist militant groups. Last September an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
       
Last week Britain urged its citizens to evacuate the city, citing a "specific, imminent" threat, irking Libyan officials keen to attract foreign money and expertise after decades of under-investment during Gaddafi's rule.
       
"Our security situation is good, we are recovering, things are getting better ... I would like to highlight that what was raised about Benghazi is just some propaganda, made by opponents to the Feb. 17 revolution,'' Zeidan said.
       
Cameron highlighted the two countries' shared interest in boosting security in Libya. He cited cooperation on investigations into the 1988 Lockerbie airplane bombing and the 1984 shooting of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London.
       
Cameron said police investigating the 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over the Scottish town which killed 270 people had been granted permission to visit Libya.
       
"I am delighted that the Dumfries and Galloway police team will be able to visit your country to look further into the issues around the Lockerbie bombing,'' he said.
       
Cameron said Britain's Metropolitan police had traveled to Libya three times as part of investigations into Fletcher's murder, who was 25 when she was hit by a shot fired from the embassy during an anti-Gaddafi demonstration. Such trips would have been "unthinkable'' under the Gaddafi regime, he said.
       
"In all these cases what I want to achieve is justice and also the full uncovering of all the facts," Cameron said.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Straight Arrow
January 31, 2013 11:05 PM
Much like training the Zimbabwe Army?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid