US Defence Secretary to Visit Libya 13/12/2011 12:29:00
US Defence Secretay Leon Panetta...will visit Libya
United States Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that he will visit Libya, thus becoming the first Pentagon head to travel to the North African country after its eight-month long revolution that eventually toppled Libyan Libyan dictator Muammar Al Qathafi from power after a 42-year rule.
Panetta was talking to US troops stationed at the Djibouti when he mentioned his travels that would also include a trip to Iraq, soon, to participate in a ceremony that will shut down the US military mission there after nearly nine years at war. He did not mention any specific date or give details for his visit to Libya.
Panetta said Libya reflects the ongoing changes in the region after the Arab Spring, and that the US wants to help Libyans move in the right direction as the people take back their country.
As the US winds down operations in Iraq and begins its methodical withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US. military appears to be increasingly focused on Africa, particularly the north.
Panetta referred to the fight against Al Qaeda and said that the US operations against the terrorist organisation are now concentrating on key groups in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.
On his first trip to Djibouti, that has the only US base in sub-Saharan Africa, Panetta was reported saying that it was fair to say that the US is intent on going after al-Qaeda wherever they locate, and making sure they have no place to hide.
At Djibouti , that also hosts the US military’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Panetta told reporters: “Our goal is to make sure that wherever they (Al Qaeda) go, we go after them and make sure that they are not able to ever develop the kind of planning that would involve attacks on our homeland.”
In Djibouti, Panetta met with the country's President Ismail Omar Guelleh as well as some of the US troops based here, conducting counterterrorism, counter-piracy and humanitarian missions.
Comment: Thank you for visiting, but the the one thing Libya does not need now is any advise of the US military-industrial-complex. Taking advise from Panetta will eventually lead to the placement of yet another US base in Libya to "protect American [oil company] interests" in Libya oil, not the welfare of the Libyan people. Just ask the families of the protesters murdered by US-backed oppression in Bahrain under the supervision of US military commanders in neighboring Qatar.
Maltese PM Meets Muslim Community, Promises Government Help During a visit to the Mariam Al-Batool school at the Islamic Centre in Paola, Maltese Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat confirmed to the Muslim community that the government will stick to its promise of wavering a €400,000 loan granted to the school when it was facing financial difficulties. He said the government has initiated the process to issue the formal waiver
Libya: Gunmen Demanding Resignation of PM Zidan On Monday armed militia members have been demanding the resignation of the leader of the Libyan government, Prime Minister Dr Ali Zidan as one of the first decisions to be taken following the adoption on Sunday of a law to banning officials from the former dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi from holding office.