U.S., U.K., concerned for Libya

May 8, 2013 at 12:08 PM
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LONDON, May 8 (UPI) -- There's no place for armed intimidation in a Libya struggling to make post-conflict political transitions, the U.S. and British governments said Wednesday.

Libyan lawmakers last weekend voted in favor of a measure that barred top figures from Moammar Gadhafi's government from political office. The law could extend to current high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

The vote came after armed groups took control over government buildings as an act of protest. Libyan Defense Minister Mohammed al-Bargathi resigned, saying the government was under the influence of militias. He retracted his resignation on the urging of Zeidan, al-Jazeera reports.

A statement from the U.S. and British governments expressed concern about the situation in Libya.

"As Libya manages this challenging transition, it is vital that the country's institutions operate free from armed intimidation," they said.

U.S. and British forces played roles in the NATO-led intervention that helped bring an end to Libya's civil war. Gadhafi died after falling into rebel hands in 2011.

Their statement said members of the international community are watching the latest developments in Libya "with concern."

"We support Libya's successful transition from ruthless dictatorship to democracy, stability and prosperity," they said.

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