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Remarks Delivered in Tripoli, Libya

John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
As Prepared for Delivery
Tripoli, Libya
April 18, 2007

DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: Thank you. This is my first trip to Libya and only my second trip abroad since becoming Deputy Secretary of State two months ago. I began this trip with four days in Sudan, and I arrived here yesterday from Chad, where I had a series of meetings in N’djamena with President Deby, members of Chadian civil society, and non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement. In addition, I traveled to Abeche and Koukou Anganara, where I visited internally displaced person (IDP) camps in eastern Chad. There I saw first-hand how the crisis in Darfur has affected innocent Chadian and Sudanese civilians along Chad’s eastern border with Sudan.

Over the last two days in Tripoli I have met with several of Libyan leader Qadhafi's top advisors, including Foreign Secretary Shalgam and Africa Secretary Treki. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the serious situation in Darfur, a subject of intense interest on the part of the American people and our government. There is widespread agreement that the crisis in Darfur has three main elements: humanitarian, security, and political. All of these elements deserve the immediate attention of the Sudanese Government and international community. The Libyan Government shares our resolve to find a solution to this crisis, and I encouraged my Libyan counterparts to continue to work with the United States, United Nations, and African Union on this matter.

Visits such as this could not have been possible until very recently. Because of Libya’s historic decision in 2003 to renounce terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, we are now able to work together as partners on areas of mutual interest. One of these areas is Darfur, and I applaud Libyan efforts to pressure all non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement to stop their attacks, put down their arms, and come to the negotiating table. I also urged my Libyan interlocutors to support the deployment of two international peacekeeping forces in the region: the first is a hybrid United Nations – African Union force for Darfur, with a single, unified chain-of-command that conforms to UN standards and practices; the second is a United Nations peacekeeping force for eastern Chad and the northeastern Central African Republic. These robust international forces are necessary to improve the security of affected populations.

Beyond the situation in Darfur, there are clearly additional issues in our bilateral relationship with Libya that must be resolved in order to put the past behind us. Although I did not come here to discuss these matters specifically, I reminded the Libyan Government of our expectations regarding the fair treatment of U.S. claimants and finding a solution to the tragic outbreak of HIV in Benghazi that will allow the incarcerated foreign medics to go home.

I want to thank the Government of Libya for its hospitality and everyone who made the excellent arrangements for my visit.

2007/298



Released on April 18, 2007

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