White House welcomes new Libyan ambassador

September 10th, 2011 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Sep 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) US President Barack Obama has received new Libyan Ambassador to America Ali Aujali and accepted his credentials to represent his country and its transitional government, an official said.

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

“The US congratulates the Libyan people for their courage and determination to chart a new and democratic future for their country,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

The Libyan embassy in Washington was shut down in March shortly before the beginning of a NATO military campaign in Libya.

Aujali, who was the Libyan envoy to Washington at the time, strongly criticised the Muammar Gaddafi 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 Aug 18 after an official recognition of the National Transitional Council by the Obama administration.

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

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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