The Obama administration on Tuesday increased U.S. support for Libya’s new leaders as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unannounced visit to Tripoli and pledged millions of dollars in new aid, including medical care for wounded fighters and additional assistance to secure weaponry that many fear could fall into the hands of terrorists.
U.S. officials said the fresh aid Clinton is bringing totals about $11 million and will boost Washington’s contribution to Libya since the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi began in February to roughly $135 million. The officials told reporters traveling with Clinton that it is evidence of the administration’s commitment to working with the National Transitional Council as it consolidates control over the entire country and moves to hold free and fair elections.
As part of the new aid package, the U.S. will re-launch several educational programs, including Fulbright scholarships and English language training, and help fund an archeological project that will survey eastern Libya, the officials said. In addition, they said Clinton will be stressing the importance of good governance, inclusion, democratization and diversifying Libya’s economy so it no longer is almost entirely dependent on oil revenue.