U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Tripoli, Libya, visiting with the country's post-Moammar Gadhafi leadership.
Clinton arrived on Tuesday morning and met with National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil and Libya's interim Prime Minister Mahmud Jibril. She's expected to present the Libyan government with million of dollars in aid that will go toward rebuilding an education system and helping soldiers wounded during the country's eight month-long revolution, according to The Associated Press.
The most senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet to visit Libya after the uprising against Gadhafi began in February, Clinton will also discuss efforts to find and destroy weapons once stored by the Gadhafi regime, including shoulder-fired missiles and chemical weapons.
The U.S. State Department has been vocal in its support of Libya's interim government, and is playing a big brother role to the NTC, hoping to guide it into a peaceful democracy. This will include creating a new, non-oil based industry that will contrast with the state-run economy of the Gadhafi era.
The important thing is to be able to show the Libyan people that there is momentum, a senior administration official traveling with Clinton said, according to The Daily Star.
We're pushing the [NTC] to be able to show the Libyan people that they're serious in their commitments to transition, that they're serious in their commitments to [the] rule of law, that they're serious about getting to those elections.
In August, Clinton told the Friends of Libya conference in Paris that the NTC deserves a seat at the United Nations. This would allow for world powers to keep a close eye on the country's fledgling democracy.
The work does not end with the end of an oppressive regime. Winning a war offers no guarantee of winning the peace that follows, Clinton said, implying that the U.N. could lubricate the peace process.
Meanwhile in Libya, fighting still rages in Sirte, where pro-Gadhafi loyalists launched an unexpected counter-attack on Tuesday. After the fall of Bani Walid over the weekend, Sirte is the last remaining city under loyalist control. After six weeks of fighting, the NTC has managed to pen pro-Gadhafi forces into a small perimeter, but snipers and machine guns have made the city difficult to win.
In Tripoli on Sunday, revolutionary fighters under the guidance of the NTC destroyed Gadhafi's Bab al Aziziya compound.
We are destroying it because we want to demolish anything that belongs to Gaddafi, gunman Essam Sarag told Reuters.
We will continue until we destroy everything that belongs to Gadhafi,” said Etman Lelktah, who said he was in charge of the fighters at the scene. “We ask that a peace organisation be built instead of Gadhafi’s place.