White House welcomes new Libyan ambassador

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U.S. President Barack Obama has received new Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Aujali and accepted his credentials to represent his country and its transitional government, a National Security Council spokesman said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has received new Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Aujali and accepted his credentials to represent his country and its transitional government, a National Security Council spokesman said.

Obama welcomed Aujali in the Oval Office on Friday to mark the formal beginning of the ambassador's service in Washington.

“The United States congratulates the Libyan people for their courage and determination to chart a new and democratic future for their country,” Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

“As the Transitional National Council undertakes an inclusive and democratic political transition where human rights are respected and valued, it will find a strong ally in the United States,” the statement said.

The Libyan embassy in Washington was shut down in March shortly before the beginning of a NATO military campaign in the oil-rich North African country.

Aujali, who was the Libyan envoy to Washington at the time, strongly criticized Muammar Gaddafi’s regime for using violence against protesters. He was one of the first Libyan officials to resign and side with the rebels.

The Libyan embassy in Washington was reopened on August 18 after an official recognition of the Transitional National Council by the Obama administration.  

Washington has also given new Libyan diplomats access to roughly $13 million in mission assets that had been frozen as part of sanctions against Gaddafi’s regime.

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