Clinton Makes Unannounced Visit to Libya

Secretary of State brings aid, support
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2011 7:40 AM CDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Libya Transitional National Council President Mustafa Abdel-Jalil at the World Islamic Call Society Headquarters during a visit to Tripoli in Libya Oct. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton arrived in Libya today on an unannounced visit, the first by a Cabinet-level US official since Moammar Gadhafi was driven from Tripoli almost two months ago. Clinton’s visit to the capital, which was kept secret for security reasons, is expected to last just hours, the BBC reports. While there, she will meet with top officials of the new transitional government as well as speak at a town hall-type gathering, the Washington Post adds.

Clinton is there to assure support of the new transitional government, and set the groundwork for a new US-Libya relationship, aides say. She is also bringing millions in new US non-military aid, which will help Libyan officials to find and destroy missing weapons from Gadhafi’s arsenal. Meanwhile, fighting continues in parts of the country still loyal to Gadhafi, including Sirte; even in Tripoli, loyalists fought the transitional army just this weekend.

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