By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 3 July 2013:
Municipal services are where “the rubber touches the ground” said US ambassador Debora Jones on her . . .[restrict]first visit to Tripoli Local Council today.
She told her hosts, including TLC chairman Sadat Elbadri: “Although constitution is very important, people won’t be happy with a great constitution if they don’t get the services. Your work is where the rubber touches the ground.”
Delivering basic services, she said “ is a big task for you, like fixing roads, collection of trash, ensuring uninterrupted power and water supply. These are all works that directly affect the people as this is the environment where people raise their families.”
She added that municipalities were the real test of how government worked.“You are the people that actually deliver services directly to the people.”
The ambassador was given a tour of the offices and then met councillors and senior officials. Elbardi told his guest: “We thank people of the US and their government for standing by our side from the beginning of 17 February revolution. We need their help to make Free Libya a strong civil and democratic state, with strong state institutions and active civil society.”
Jones said that she was optimistic about the future of Libya. “When somebody tells me the government is failing, I tell them no its not. The dictator failed and the people will not fail. We have to see the glass as half full and not half empty.”
She also stressed that the US was in Libya as a friend, not trying to give instructions.
“You know what is best for your country” she said, “I’m not here to tell you what to do. But everybody needs a friend. You have to see when the elephant is in the room.” [/restrict]