U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command, wrapped up a two-day visit to Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia, Sept. 27-28.
Townsend travelled to Libya with U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland where they met with interim Government of National Unity Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Abdulhamid Dabaiba, in advance of the December 24 elections and to support the country's stabilization and national reconciliation. Townsend and Norland also received the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in Tripoli, the first time this group has met in the Libyan capital.
“U.S. Africa Command continues to support Ambassador Norland’s diplomatic efforts to ensure Libya holds presidential and parliamentary elections this December. We also support the UN-facilitated political reconciliation process and the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya,” said Townsend.
“We saw another piece of Libyan history today. Receiving the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in Tripoli together with Gen. Townsend was another step towards national reconciliation and an end to years of conflict,” said Norland. “As we discussed, the elections on Dec. 24 will also mark a key step towards a stable, unified national government with a mandate from Libyan voters. The United States will continue working to support full implementation of the ceasefire agreement including the withdrawal of all foreign forces and fighters in accordance with the wishes of the Libyan public.”
In Algeria, Townsend, accompanied by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Gautam Rana, met with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and the Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army, Lt. Gen. Said Chanegriha.
“The United States appreciates the role Algeria plays in promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the region and beyond. We hope to continue building on our strong bilateral relationship in areas of mutual interests,” said Townsend.
In Tunisia, Townsend and U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome met with the Tunisian military Chiefs of Staff, to discuss U.S. security efforts on building the capacity of the Tunisian military to counter threats.
U.S. Africa Command is committed to a mutually beneficial partnership with the countries in North Africa in order to enhance efforts and contributions to regional security and stability.