US ready to help back Libya elections
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki - AFP/Saul Loeb
AFP

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States: The United States is ready to help usher in new elections in Libya, believing they will pave the way for a more stable government there, a US official said Wednesday.

Libya’s electoral commission said Tuesday that polls will take place on June 25 to replace its disputed interim parliament, according to a report by the Lana state news agency.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington was waiting for official word from Tripoli, adding “we certainly would support and encourage Libya to quickly officially announce parliamentary elections.”

“We’re prepared to help support elections preparation from here,” Psaki said, adding that there was a range of different things that Washington could offer, without going into specifics.

“We remain committed to working with all parties to encourage dialogue and unity and to avoid further violence,” she said.

Washington also believed that despite the political and violent turmoil in Libya it would be possible to organize elections.

Militias are blamed for growing unrest in the North African country since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed dictator Muammar Gadhafi.

Successive governments have complained that the claim by the General National Council (GNC) to executive power as well as legislative authority has tied their hands in taming the militias.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke Wednesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy as well as other counterparts from Turkey and France “about shared concerns about the dire situation in Libya and what we can do as an international community to support the process moving forward.”

“Elections is certainly part of that,” Psaki told reporters.

“It helps lay a foundation for a more stable Libya because having an elected government that can continue to work on the challenges that need to be addressed… is clearly an important part of what we think needs to happen from here.”

She predicted that there would be “a great deal of support from the United States, and certainly from the international community” to help ensure political stability in the country.

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