Obama extends Libyan emergency declaration

Feb. 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- There's an ongoing security threat to U.S. foreign policy interests from instability in post-war Libya, the White House said.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed, presumably by rebel forces, in October, eight months after NATO forces began operations to protection demonstrators from attacks by Gadhafi loyalists.

An interim government was installed and the country has since taken steps toward the first democratic elections more than a generation.

Nevertheless, U.S. President Barack Obama sent a letter to the House of Representatives stating the national emergency declared last year in response to the Libyan uprising was to continue for another year.

"The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries caused a deterioration in the security of Libya, posed a serious risk to its stability, and led me to declare a national emergency to deal with this threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," the president's letter read.

Obama said his government was in the process to dismantling sanctions on Libya in response to developments made since Gadhafi's government fell last year. The situation, however, is seen as a threat to U.S. national security interests.

"The situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and we need to protect against this threat and the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Gadhafi's family and other former regime officials," Obama stated.

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