Monday, May 19, 2014

Kerry Compares Governing Libya to Being a Massachusetts Senator

    Secretary of State John Kerry, in the United Kingdom for a meeting of the nations of the London 11, spoke to the press at the Foreign Commonwealth Office in London.  While the gathering was principally addressing the military conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria, the secretary commented on the situation in Libya as well.  Kerry noted the need to bring security and stability to the country in the face of continuing violence and threats from various extremist elements:
We need to try to accelerate the effort to bring about stability and security and the governance that is necessary to provide the time and the space for Libyan authorities to be able to confront the threat from extremism and the challenges that their country faces of just providing governance to their people.
    Kerry then briefly described some steps the Libyan government would be encouraged to take to provide stability and peace for the Libyan people.  He noted the country is "rich in resources, rich in people with talent and capacity."  Kerry also referenced his own experience as a senator from Massachusetts as an example to the Libyans that he knows "something about what you can provide when you want to."
[W]e’re going to do all we can to help the Libyans in these next days to try to be able to gain control over their revenues and begin to forge the kind of coalition that can actually begin to build the offices of governance that are necessary. This is a small country – six and a half million people – smaller than the state that I represented in the Senate – privileged to represent for almost 29 years. I know something about what you can provide when you want to. Libya is a country rich in resources, rich in people with talent and capacity. And we hope that in the days ahead we’re going to be able to tap into that and find a way to help the Libyan people to move forward to have the kind of stability and peaceful governance that they aspire to.
    Kerry's remarks on Libya came on same day Rep. Darrell Issa issued a second subpoena for Kerry to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 29 to testify about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.  Kerry was scheduled to be out of the country on May 21, the date of the original subpoena.

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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