Obama condemns attack on US envoy; Libya apologises
Benghazi: A day after the US ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens was killed along with three other members of his staff on Tuesday in a rocket attack, Libya offered an apology to the US.
While addressing a press conference, Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib said, “We condemn attacks on the US ambassador. We offer an apology to the US.”
He also took a tough stance on attacks saying, “Our soil should not be used for any attack. We are concerned about our relations with the US following the attack.”
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the attack on US envoy and three other embassy staff officials and vowed to step up security "at all US diplomatic posts around the globe."
While confirming the attack, Obama said in a statement released by the White House, "I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens."
In the statement Obama said he has ordered for increased security at all US diplomatic posts across the globe.
"Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives," he said.
Obama said he has directed his Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of its personnel in Libya, and to increase security at American diplomatic posts around the globe.
"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants," Obama said.
On a personal note, Obama in his condolence said Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the US.
"Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice," he said.
"I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss," he said.
"The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward," he said.
The protesters were angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad, Libyan officials said yesterday.
The US envoy and three other officials went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades.
The attack on the Benghazi consulate took place as hundreds of protesters in neighboring Egypt scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo and tore down and replaced the American flag with a black Islamic banner.
Stevens, 52, was a career diplomat and had already served two tours in Libya, including running the office in Benghazi during the revolt against late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
(With Agency inputs)