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Clinton sees hope for free Libya

WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- Libya is taking the necessary steps toward democratic governance despite problems with national security, the U.S. secretary of state said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib at the White House following his visit to the U.N. Security Council this week.

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Clinton, during a news conference, said she was concerned about problems related to border security and national reconciliation efforts in Libya but said the prospects were improving after the country's revolution.

"We also know there are problems with border security, with integrating militias, with working toward national reconciliation, and on all of these and more, we are working with our Libyan partners," she said. "At the same time, on the economic front, business is picking up."

Keib noted during his meeting with Clinton that an inclusive election law and the establishment of an elections commission set the stage for a vote for members of a constitutional assembly.

"The Libyan government is fully committed to holding free, fair, and transparent elections in June and we look for continued support from the U.S. and our partners in that area," he said.

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He added that the war for the liberation of Libya "is almost over."

A delegation of political and tribal leaders in Benghazi declared autonomy this week, sparking concerns from the interim administration in Tripoli.

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