By Libya Herald Staff.
Tripoli, 21 September 2013:
The United States will continue to back Libya despite the present difficulties. Moreover, it looks . . .[restrict]to strengthening the relationship in future, the US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, has told Libyan Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thini.
In phone on Thursday, “Secretary Hagel highlighted the United States’ support to Libya and its people during its transition,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little was quoted by the American Forces Press Service as saying.
According to Little, both men had “agreed to continue efforts to strengthen military cooperation”. In particular, they had discussed “how the United States military can assist training for Libyan security forces and strengthening regional security through stability and rule of law”.
Just a week ago, Bulgaria’s Defence Minister announced that the Bulgarian government had approved an American request to train up to 8,000 Libyan soldiers at two bases in the country used by the US military. Between 150 and 200 Libyan soldiers would trained on a rotational basis over between five and eight years, Angel Naydenov was quoted as saying.
Bulgarian instructors are also expected to be used in the training.
“This is a bilateral proposal,” Naydenov said, “but it is also being discussed within Nato and could be expected to become part of Nato’s mission for post-war reconstruction of Libya.”
According to Libyan sources close to the Ministry of Defence, however, the figure of 8,000 is not the number of Libya soldiers to be trained by the Americans and Bulgarians alone. It is the total number to be trained outside Libya by Nato nations under the agreement reached on the sidelines of the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June.
As part of the agreement, 2,000 Libyan soldiers will be trained in the UK while others will go to France and Italy.
The exact number of those to be trained by the Americans in Bulgaria, along with other details, is reportedly still to be worked out. [/restrict]