Clinton in Libya to Meet Leaders and Offer Aid Package

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meeting Libyan soldiers in Tripoli, October 18, 2011

From Steven Lee Myers, the New York Times:  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton landed here on Tuesday to demonstrate support for Libya’s new transitional government, even as a senior administration official expressed concern that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi remained a “lethal nuisance.

Mrs. Clinton, the administration’s most ardent champion of the NATO-led intervention year, arrived here from Malta at noon to meet with the country’s new leaders, including the chairman of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil.

She is the highest ranking American official to visit Libya since the collapse of Colonel Qaddafi’s government two months ago and the first secretary of state to visit since Condoleezza Rice in 2008, during the ill-fated thaw in Libya’s international isolation.

The administration has already pledged $135 million in assistance to Libya’s rebel leaders, including humanitarian aid and military equipment, though not weapons, and Mrs. Clinton came promising more, including medical equipment and treatment in the United States for some of the wounded fighters, English courses and a project with Oberlin College in Ohio to help preserve ancient ruins at Cyrene. . . .

One of the largest amounts of that aid— at nearly $40 million — involves an expanding effort by American and others to search for mobile rocket launchers from Libya’s looted arsenals that could end up in the hands of terrorists. The United States has already sent 14 officials to join the transitional government in the hunt, and officials said more would arrive soon.  (photo: AP)

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