US Army-Libya Army try to advance relations

TRIPOLI, Libya - Major General William B. Garrett, commanding general, U.S. Army Africa (front row, center), meets with key Libyan military leaders during a trip to Libya to discuss the emerging relationship between U.S. Army and Libyan land forces in early May 2010

The US and Libyan armed forces of both countries are trying to establish new military ties after years of being enemies.

The U.S. Army Africa commanding general made a historic trip to Libya to discuss the emerging relationship between the U.S. Army and Libya’s land forces in early May 2010.

Major General William B. Garrett III visited Tripoli, where he held talks with key Libyan military leaders. The visit indicates the U.S. Army’s commitment toward building a cooperative relationship with Libya’s land forces and increasing regional security.

Garrett’s visit was coordinated through the U.S. Embassy Tripoli, and U.S. Ambassador Gene Cretz greeted Garrett at Mitiga International Airport.

“We are gradually opening a dialog that has not existed between our land forces in a long time,” Garrett said. “Times have changed and relationships must change too.”

The general’s first stop was the headquarters of the North African Regional Capability (NARC) to meet Major General Ahmid Auwn, Libya’s chief of staff for Army Mechanized Units and Executive Director of the NARC. The NARC is part of the African Standby Force, which consists of five regional brigade-size commands that can support the African Union during times of crisis. Libyan willingness to open a dialogue with the U.S. Army is in an important part of increasing regional cooperation.

“We will look to the NARC leadership to work together on future events that are mutually beneficial,” Garrett said.

The general also toured the Libyan Bureau of Technical Cooperation and National Committees and the Libyan Military Staff College, where he met with the director, Major General Ahmid Mahmud Azwai. These visits emphasized the importance of material standardization, training and education in developing future leaders.

Garrett’s visit follows a military cooperation committee meeting held in Tripoli in late-February, where delegations of Libyan and U.S. military officers discussed areas of common interest and planned future partnership events, said Major Philip Archer, U.S. Army Africa’s North African Regional Desk Officer. “Proposed events include inviting Libyan officers to visit Army schools in the United States, holding discussion on border security, conducting medical exchanges and sharing helicopter procedures,” Archer said.

One of U.S. Army Africa’s goals is to help Libya and other members of the NARC build the brigade into a capable force that is interoperable with other regional standby forces and can be used for peace support operations.

“U.S. Army Africa’s discussions in Tripoli are a positive step toward working together with Libya’s military,” Garrett said. “We now have a better understanding of each other’s goals and can work together to achieve increased security, stability and peace in North Africa.”

Garrett concluded his trip to Libya with a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of fallen American sailors, who perished when their ship exploded in Tripoli harbor in 1804.

This is a continuation of Africa’s new importance to the US. The US lifted the embargo that was in place while Libya was developing its Nuclear program uptill 2004.

Sept. 20, 2004 – President Bush revoked the United States trade embargo on Libya on Monday and took other steps aimed at eventually establishing normal relations with the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in return for its keeping a promise to give up nuclear, chemical and biological weapons…..

Among the steps taken by Mr. Bush were the removal of economic restrictions on aviation services, permitting direct flights between the United States and Libya; unfreezing $1.3 billion in assets; and providing what Mr. McClellan said would be “a level playing field for U.S. businesses in Libya” by allowing them to secure American economic benefits for foreign investment…..

With the lifting of most economic sanctions, the way is clear for American oil companies to try to secure contracts or to revive previous contracts for Libya’s vast oil reserves.

US companies were the big winners in lifting of the sanctions. They won most of the new contract bids.

US oil companies have been awarded most of the contracts on offer at the first open licence auction in Libya.

More data in us oil imports from Libya.

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