General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander of US Africa Command, and Ambassador Peter Bodde met with the Prime Minister of Libya’s Unity Government Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, Libya, on 23 May.
During the meeting, Waldhauser and Bodde updated Sarraj on issues and concerns previously discussed during earlier meetings. These topics included potential future defense institution building efforts and security force assistance.
“The U.S. Africa Command continues to collaborate with Government of National Accord (GNA) security officials on ways we can support those forces charged with security Tripoli,” said Waldhauser. “We support partner operations, including the European Union Boarder Assistance mission in Libya and Operation Sophia which trains for border security.”
Prior to the visit to Libya, Sarraj visited AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany on two previous occasions, but this was the first time for the officials to meet in Tripoli. The last meeting took place in Stuttgart on April 6, 2017.
This visit to Libya marks the first time a high ranking U.S. military official has visited Libya since 2014.
During previous meetings, Waldhauser and Sarraj discussed Operation Odyssey Lightning, operational updates and future U.S. cooperation plans in Libya. However, the focus of this third meeting was to applaud Sarraj on all of the work he’s done with combating ISIS and other terrorist groups as well as to reiterate the U.S. support of Libya as a unified, secure and prosperous state of government.
“We commend Prime Minister al-Sarraj for taking important steps in the process of restoring unified governance to Libya,” said Waldhauser.
“This visit today demonstrates the commitment of the United States to a partnership with Prime Minister Sarraj and the Government of National Accord,” said Bodde. “We urge all Libyans to join together in a shared effort to ensure their mutual security and prosperity.”