By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 19 November 2013:
Ali Zeidan has asked the British government to speed up visa applications for Libyans, especially . . .[restrict]students, the sick and the wounded. He did so during talks with visiting UK Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson who conveyed Britain’s condolences for the deaths of innocent protestors last Friday at Gharghour.
The visit, the Prime Minister said, came at a difficult time for Libya but demonstrated the depth of historical ties between the two countries forged by the late King Idris.
The UK, Robertson said, wanted to help Libya in various fields, especially training of security and military personnel and healthcare development.
Robertson, who arrived yesterday, later visited some of those wounded in the Gharghour atrocity in Tripoli Central Hospital and spoke of his admiration for them. “I’ve met several people here who were hurt while demonstrating over the last few days and I’ve been humbled by their courage and determination in standing up for what they believe,” he said.
The tragedy underlined the urgent need to help strengthen the Libyan police and army so they could take responsibility for law and order and security in the country.
Robertson’s remit covers the Middle East and North Africa as well as Counter Terrorism, Defence and International Security. He took over the post from Alistair Burt last month.
Last Saturday, while in the UK, he condemned the Gharghour violence and called on the authorities in Libya to bring those responsible to justice. The UK believed it essential, he said, that all armed groups had to integrate fully into state organisations or “put down their weapons and return to civilian life”.