Libya Asks NATO to Help Build Security Sector

"Thank you to NATO for the important role it has played in protecting civilians" in Libya

From Ali Zeidan, NATO:  Thank you to NATO for the important role it has played in protecting civilians in 2011 as of the beginning of the operation in March until the end of the operation in October. And thank you again for your commitment to withdraw in due time. You have respected all your commitments. And this has been noted. Our experience with NATO is very positive. . . .

And today, we come to NATO to express our thanks and gratitude and to confirm the positive relation between us based on respect… respecting sovereignty. . . .

We want to collaborate with NATO in the field of peace, cooperation. We want positive exchanges in the field of security. If we consider that training needs cooperation we will do it.

And we do not want to hide anything. We are working in favour of our state, our country… our young state. We want to cooperate with you because we know there will be no harm to our sovereignty. And all the countries of NATO have supported us; have helped us in different areas through the revolution. And we hope that this cooperation – this positive cooperation – will continue in peace times. We hope that we will exchange experience. Thank you, Mister Secretary General. . . .

Q: Riad Walid (sp?), the Official Libyan Information. I would like to ask a question on the type of support given by NATO to Libya.

ALI ZEIDAN: NATO will give us technical advice in terms of training. So we will have technical support. And we will be helped in training if we need to.

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN (NATO Secretary General): May I just add to this that I have today discussed with the prime minister how NATO can help in building the security sector in Libya. We will now explore that further. This request will be forwarded to the North Atlantic Council. And it will be the Council that makes the final decision. But we have had an excellent discussion today as to how NATO can provide as the prime minister said, technical assistance; maybe also provide training activities.

So let me stress, just to avoid any misunderstanding, this is not about deploying NATO troops to Libya. This is about technical assistance upon request of the Libyan Government.

Excerpts from joint press conference by the Prime Minister of Libya Ali Zeidan and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.  (photo: NATO)

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