1 February 2013

Libya: British PM Visits Nation, Algeria

Tripoli — The UK is stepping up security ties with Libya and Algeria to counter the threat of extremism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron paid a surprise visit to Tripoli on Thursday (January 31st) to discuss security issues with his Libyan peer.

"Sound democracy can't be achieved unless security is established," Cameron said after talking with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

The British premier said he understood the security challenges facing the Libyan government, particularly its efforts to integrate armed militias into the police. After visiting a police academy, Cameron expressed admiration for the recruits and offered British training assistance for security forces.

"We'll stand with you in building democracy," Cameron said. "We won't forget that the harm done by Kadhafi didn't affect Libya alone, but affected us as well."

British investigators would soon visit Libya regarding the 1988 bombing of a passenger jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, Cameron said.

"We have to be keen on realising justice and human rights," Zidan said. "Investigations must be conducted so we can ascertain information," he said.

The Libyan prime minister noted that the security situation in the country was improving.

"The proof of that is the presence of Mr. Cameron himself in Libya," Zidan said.

Massoud Madi, an engineer, agreed, noting that "the presence of the British prime minister at Martyrs Square in central Tripoli without guards or tight surveillance shows the world that things are getting better ".

Before his unannounced trip to Libya, Cameron spent two days in Algeria,

The first British prime minister to visit Algeria since independence, Cameron met with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to discuss security co-operation.

Cameron's historic trip to Algiers came a fortnight after the In Amenas terror attack left 37 foreign hostages dead, including six Britons.

Cameron said that his country and Algeria were "united in countering terrorism".

The two countries also agreed to exchange information on border and aviation security, and tackling extremist ideology and propaganda, AFP reported.

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