Middle East

Friday 11 July 2014

David Cameron greeted with cries of 'Allah Akhbar' in surprise visit to Libya

Published 31/01/2013|15:24

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BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron today flew into Tripoli in defiance of the deteriorating security situation.

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Earlier this week Britain warned of a "potential threat" to its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, days after the Foreign Office urged British nationals to leave Benghazi.



However the Prime Minister flew today from Algiers to Tripoli, for his second visit to the capital in 15 months.



He was due to meet Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and President Mohammed el-Megarif.



Mr Cameron staged a walk about in Martyrs' Square where he was mobbed by crowds, some shouting "welcome".



Earlier Mr Cameron visited a police training college and pledged to send more police from Britain to help train Libyan police officers. British servicemen are also training Libyan soldiers.

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He told an audience of around 100 Libyan police officers: "The training you are now undertaking is even more important than the revolution you were part of to get rid of Gaddafi and give Libya her freedom. There is no real democracy or chance of prosperity without proper security.



"In building the new Libya you have no greater friend than the United Kingdom. We will stand with you every step of the way."



After he finished speaking he was applauded and cheered by the police officers, chanting "Allah Akhbar".



The visit to Tripoli posed a significant risk for Mr Cameron, given the worsening security situation in the north African country.



Earlier this week Foreign Officen which already warns against "all but essential travel" to the Libyan capital, said: "We're aware of a potential threat to the British embassy in Tripoli and we are liaising closely with the Libyan government."



It comes two weeks after militants launched a bold attack on a BP gas facility at In Amenas, close to the Libyan border. A four-day standoff was ended by an Algerian army assault. In all at least 37 workers at the plant died, including six Britons, along with 29 hostage-takers.



Christopher Hope, Telegraph.co.uk

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