The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says his office is ready to help Libya combat illegal drug trafficking. The U.N. official has just returned from Tripoli, where he met with Libyan leaders.

U.N. anti-drug chief, Antonio Maria Costa, met with Libya's senior leaders and visited detention facilities and drug treatment centers in Tripoli. The spokesman for the U.N. official, Kemal Kurspahic, says the mission was to explore ways to get Libya involved in combating international crime in Northern Africa and in the Arab world.

"The UNODC can help implement conventions that Libya is a party to and Libya has ratified all 12 international instruments against terrorism, Libya has ratified all conventions against drugs, illicit drugs, and we explored the role that the UNODC can play in assisting Libya in the implementation of those conventions and translating them into their national laws," he said.

He said the visit was another step in the integration of Libya in the international community.

The Vienna-based U.N. drug office has already started training drug law enforcement officers in Libya and recently provided equipment to border control officers, forensic laboratories and drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers.

The U.N. drug office is currently carrying out an assessment of the drug abuse and HIV/AIDS situation in Libya aimed at developing a national drug demand reduction strategy.