'Significant' security challenges in Libya

Nov. 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

LONDON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The new Libyan Cabinet faces "significant challenges to improve security" in the country but can rely on London's support, a British minister said.

Members of the Libyan National Congress this week approved of the Cabinet presented by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan. The prime minister said the slate, which includes two women, represents a coalition government.

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said the Cabinet's approval was an important step forward for Libya.

Burt said the Zidan administration would get assistance from London for police and security.

"They face significant challenges to improve security, provide services to their people and protect fair and equal rights for all," Burt said. "I hope that they will agree a plan to address these challenges."

Unsettled rivalries that grew out of the country's civil war has created a tense political situation in Libya. In mid-October, at least 22 people were killed in fighting between militias and rebel fighters near Bani Walid, a former stronghold of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

U.S. officials are investigation a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three staff members dead. Bloomberg News reports the CIA sent a security team to the consulate within 25 minutes of the attack.

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