US pledges $40 mn to Libya for arms stockpile safety

The US will allocate $40 million to secure and destroy stockpiles of weapons in Libya.

Updated: Oct 19, 2011, 09:45 AM IST

Washington: The US will allocate $40 million to secure and destroy stockpiles of weapons in Libya, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her visit to Tripoli.

The US top diplomat met with Transitional National Council (TNC) leaders Mahmoud Jibril and Mustafa Abdel Jalil. She was the highest-ranking US official to visit Libya since 2008.

"We will stay focused on security: I am pleased to announce that we are going to put even more money into helping Libya secure and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons," Hillary said. "And the Administration, working with Congress, is going to provide $40 million to support this effort."

"We will also work with Libya to destroy chemical weapons stocks," she added.

Upon her arrival to the Libyan capital, Hillary said Washington would spend about $135 million to support Libyan rebel authorities.

The TNC said in May that after three months of the conflict it needed $3 billion toward medical aid, food supplies, and utilities.

Libyan rebels started a six-month military campaign, assisted by NATO, against the Gaddafi regime in mid-February. The international NATO-led military operation began March 19 following a UN resolution on "targeted measures" to protect civilians.

Following months of fierce fighting that claimed hundreds of lives, the Libyan Transitional National Council has established control over most of the country`s territory, including the capital of Tripoli.

IANS