The U.S. has reopened its Libyan embassy after closing it down during the enforcement of the NATO no-fly-zone. With the old Qadaffi regime gone, new opportunities are available. The U.S. is cautiously optimistic about the country’s future and already trying to help American companies exploit business opportunities there.
Speaking to reporters after the ceremonial flag-raising over a makeshift post that was once his residence, Ambassador Gene A. Cretz said that about two weeks ago — roughly a week after forces loyal to the deposed Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, were driven out of Tripoli — he participated in a State Department conference call with about 150 American companies hoping to do business with Libya.
“We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources, but even in Qaddafi’s time they were starting from A to Z in terms of building infrastructure and other things” after the country had begun opening up to the West six years ago, he said. “If we can get American companies here on a fairly big scale, which we will try to do everything we can to do that, then this will redound to improve the situation in the United States with respect to our own jobs.”
His remarks were a rare nod to the tacit economic stakes in the Libyan conflict for the United States and other Western countries, not only because of Libya’s oil resources but also because of the goods and services those resources enable it to purchase.
Here is video report of the opening.