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US says ready to help Libyan rebels in policing

Latest News / WASHINGTON – The United States said Thursday it is ready to help Libyan rebels deploy police in the country once Moamer Kadhafi’s regime is fully defeated, adding the rebels suggested they might need such help.


Delegates from the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) discussed their security needs during a meeting of the international Contact Group on Libya in Istanbul, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.


“It is our understanding that the NTC is unlikely to request a formal peacekeeping force, but it may need UN and international community help supporting its policing needs,” Nuland said.


“And precisely what it may ask for remains to be determined,” she said, adding it was not clear whether foreign technical support, funds, training or police officers would be needed.


Nuland said the NTC would not be able to make a decision or present a plan to the international community “until it has been able to establish itself in Tripoli” and gain a better understanding of the security needs.


“We will look favorably at police support requests that come from the (NTC) to the UN. The UN will have the lead, but we will look at how the US can help,” Nuland said when asked if Washington would offer its support.


“I think we’re not to that stage yet,” Nuland said when asked if the United States was willing to send police officers to Libya.


“It is not clear that foreign police are going to be requested. This could come in the form of training support, this could come in the form of equipping support,” she said.


On April 20, the White House said US President Barack Obama supported the decision by allies to send military advisers to aid Libyan rebels but had no plans to put US “boots on the ground.”

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