Leaders Discussed the Tense Situation in Libya and Stressed Cooperation
The following was submitted by the Office of the White House Press Secretary.
On September 12, President Obama called President Mohamed Magariaf of Libya. It was their first conversation since President Magariaf’s election last month.
President Obama thanked President Magariaf for extending his condolences for the tragic deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and two other State Department officers in Benghazi.
President Obama also expressed appreciation for the cooperation we have received from the Libyan government and people in responding to this outrageous attack, and said that the Libyan government must continue to work with us to assure the security of our personnel going forward.
The President made it clear that we must work together to do whatever is necessary to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice.
The two Presidents agreed to work closely over the course of this investigation.
The President reaffirmed our support for Libya’s democratic transition, a cause Ambassador Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance, and he welcomed the election of a new prime minister yesterday to help lead the Libyan government’s efforts to improve security, counter extremism, and advance its democracy.
President Obama also called Egyptian President Morsi to review the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt, and our ongoing efforts to strengthen bilateral economic and security cooperation.
Given recent events, and consistent with our interest in a relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect, President Obama underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the United States in securing U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel.
The President said that he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam, but underscored that there is never any justification for violence against innocents and acts that endanger American personnel and facilities.
President Morsi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel.