Obama Seeks Closer Military Ties With Libya...
Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, said Tuesday that the United States is hoping to "put some flesh" on the bones of American efforts to deepen ties between these two former foes.
He outlined a number of steps the two countries might take in the coming year, including closer military-to-military relations, U.S. training of Libyan forces, a new trade agreement, and a human rights dialogue.
The goal, he said, was to build a working relationship that can survive the "vicissitudes of politics" -- a thinly veiled reference to the mercurial ways of Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi, whose most recent call for a "jihad" against Switzerland has complicated his country's drive to fully rejoin the international community after years of isolation.
Cretz made the remarks at an invite-only luncheon organized by the Middle East Institute and underwritten by Bechtel and Coca-Cola. Libya's man in Washington, Ali Aujali, also spoke at the event, and the two men had kind words for one another in front of the crowd of 36 people.
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