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As chaos reigns, Libya insists West must follow through after intervention

August 7th, 2014
02:45 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Saying “the Libyans will not make it alone,” Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz appealed to America and the international community on Thursday to follow through on its intervention that helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi from power in 2011, and help rebuild a failing Libyan state.

“We have one side of the coin to get rid of the dictatorial regime,” he told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour. “The other side is to build a state. If you are going to build a state, it means you have to provide the required assistance in a timely manner.”

Libya has sunk to even more chaotic depths of late, as militias – some of whom helped oust Gadhafi – battle across the country.

Fighting in the capital, Tripoli, has gotten so bad that the U.S. Embassy has evacuated its personnel and the country’s fledging new parliament has been forced to meet on the opposite end of the country, in the eastern city of Tobruk – about as far away from Tripoli as you can get while remaining in Libya.

“We are not a charity case,” Abdelaziz said. “And I have to make it very clear: It is the obligation of the international community, on the neighboring countries – either north of the Mediterranean, south of the Mediterranean – to take the case of Libya very seriously.”

Abdelaziz is in Washington for a U.S.-Africa summit, and to lobby the American government for more “engagement” in the Libyan chaos.

“If Libya is becoming a failed state, the price will be paid very high not only for the Libyans, but also for the neighboring countries and the community as a whole.”

He is not, he emphasized, asking for military intervention.

“I make a big difference between military intervention and engagement,” he said.

The international community “should equip the state to build its institutions, starting with the defense, starting with the police, the intelligence services, institution building, capacity building – to build the capacity of the country, to give the responsibility of the Libyan people to shape their own destiny.”

The United States has said it is “committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time,” but Abdelaziz is clearly seeking more than verbal support.

“It is really unfortunate that the international community continues to see Libya as a state that is going in the wrong direction and yet nothing has been moved.”

“All the factors at the moment are leading in the direction of a failed state,” he said. “I think the Libyan people should not be deserted at this particular stage.”

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Libya
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. rogerbij

    America, brilliant at smashing a place up, dictators out etc etc. Not so sharp when it comes to peace building, state building, etc. Not all their fault, smashing anything up is the easiest part – building something to last, now that takes time and effort. Its worth thinking about before the next mis-adventure... but I probably say this in vain.

    August 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Billybob

      We don't end things right, but that's not a uniquely American problem. Yes, the instabilities we see in the Mid East got set in motion from the failed US approach to the War on Terror, but that comes from a failure to clean up the mess in the region after the Cold War, which comes from a failure to settle things properly after World War II which comes from a failure to settle things properly after World War I, which comes from... You get the idea. Mankind has been failing to do the right thing after his conflicts since Cain and Abel.

      August 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  2. Western Propaganda

    Where USA appears, blood, murder and years of hardship follow.

    August 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  3. Western Propaganda

    US puppet's onslaught against civilian districts in Donetsk

    August 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  4. RLTJ's

    Libya was rich. Gaddafi played godfather of world revolutions. He thew away Libyan money. Except for ousting Gaddafi, nobody took anything away from there.

    That man there today does not have what it takes to build a state.

    August 8, 2014 at 5:04 am | Reply
  5. Ashraf

    Following the UN mandate to protect innocent civilians & US participation thru NATO in protecting Libyan civilians & the ousting of former regime, US must do more in Libya as well in both Syria and Iraq.
    The US shouldn't be stating " Can't turn a blind eye on what is currently happening in Iraq" and turn it on others....!!!!
    US & the International community have "moral obligations" & should be doing more to bring Libya to normalization, stabilization and impose "Forced Disarmament" on all groups and fighting militias on Libyan ground to save innocent civilians, also, help (utilizing all permissible means & resources) and support recently elected parliament, government thru democratic processes & in constructing & rebuilding the devastated country....

    August 8, 2014 at 6:28 am | Reply
  6. Mohamed

    the US should not give any political attention or value !! to this loser , He don,t represent Libyans by any means !! . the current foreign minster is conspiring on our revolution, and supporting the militias who are fighting the national Libyan authority !!!!. his government politically failed to manage Libya & his prime mister escaped Libya & is currently wanted for national financial corruption & the result is the current political crises !! . This government is going to be replaced in NO TIME , , that will implement the objective of the feb 17 people revolution, and peace & securities & the process of rebuilding Libya will start to kick off !!!.

    August 8, 2014 at 6:50 am | Reply
  7. twomoreyears

    Not one foreign policy accomplishment.

    August 8, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  8. Writt Woodson

    The west was focused on events in the Ukraine and in Gaza, while historic events where also unfolding in Syria and Iraq. I argue that the most important events were unfolding in Libya. Libya for this reason – Egypt. If the jihadists use eastern Libya as a base to undermine el Sisi, then what you will have is a situation that makes Iraq look like a "jayvee" warm up. el Sisi is no better than Assad, but is the ME better off with two caliphates? Which brings the point back to Gaza/Palestine and Israel. If Israel does not agree to a two state solution to Palestinian displacement, then Egypt will not survive in its present state. Can Libya retake Benghazi? - The US government has a duty to inform the American people about all of this. We need more than a press conference the hour before the US drops some bombs. We don't need, "Saddam has weapons of Mass destruction," we don't need, "Assad has to go!" And we need to know if our government is looking out for us or the State of Israel.

    August 11, 2014 at 9:34 am | Reply
  9. khalid Eljarushi

    regardless of all air strikes on the rebels , the answer in god's well we will regain Feb 17 back to 2011 and make sure this time Gaddafi's loyalist never exist again , how ever support Gaddffee , 32 grenade , grenade of emhmed ,today called gahgah , amd sohag , will regrets ..

    August 23, 2014 at 10:01 am | Reply
  10. Jean Kana

    March 6, 2021 at 2:34 pm | Reply

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