Secretary of State Hilary Clinton traveled to Libya on Tuesday to offer words of encouragement and millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the country’s fledgling transitional government.
Clinton, the first cabinet member of the Administration of Barack Obama to visit Libya, reportedly made a five-hour visit to the country, hosting a town hall-style meeting with top officials of the newly placed Libyan government, according to The Washington Post. She focused on assuring new Libyan leaders of the United States’ vehement dedication to aiding the country as it tries to re-establish basic infrastructure and social order, both of which were decimated in the battle to oust Moammar Gadhafi. The Secretary of State also vowed to ensure that the thousands of shoulder-fired rockets looted from the Gadhafi compound would be retrieved with U.S. help.
One State Department official said the purpose of the meeting was to focus on “setting the table for a long-term, completely different relationship between the United States and Libya that is deep and broad.”
Americans have provided more than $130 million in aid for Libyan rebels since the beginning of the uprising earlier this year, with more promised. Reportedly, the State Department has boosted funds and staffing in recent months for the sole purpose of returning Libya to a state of order. Clinton has also announced State Department intentions of providing long-term funding for medical facilities for those wounded in the country’s civil war.
Reports indicate pro-Gadhafi forces are still holding out in cities such as Sirte, Gadhafi’s birthplace. The whereabouts of the former leader, whom State Department officials call a “lethal nuisance,” are unknown.