News story

UK expertise to improve Libya security

UK offers training and support from police and military to help deliver greater security to Libya.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged more British expertise to help the Libyan government improve security.

Following his visit to Algeria, the Prime Minister made an unannounced visit to the capital, Tripoli, which included a tour of a police training centre, the Prime Minister said:

The British people want to stand with you and help you deliver the greater security that Libya needs… so we have offered training and support from our police and our military.

Security talks

Mr Cameron held talks with Libyan President Megarief and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan during the visit, and security was high on the agenda.

Libya is strategically important in combating terrorism in North Africa - especially in light of recent events in Mali and Algeria - and as a result Mr Cameron agreed a new package of support with a focus on military, police and border security advisors. In addition to training being provided in Libya, a group of Libyan sailors are to be given the opportunity to train in the UK with the Royal Navy.

Political reform

However, the Prime Minister has been clear that, while a strong security response is needed to tackle the challenge of terrorism in the region, on its own it is not enough.

So British expertise will also help the first freely elected government in Libya for 40 years to cement democracy, firmly establish the rule of law and increase public accountability. The UK will provide a justice advisor, training for domestic electoral observers, and advisors on public finance and accountability.

The Prime Minister used the visit to press the Libyan government grant visas to a UK team investigating the Lockerbie bombing. This was agreed.

Doing business

Creating a secure and stable political environment for Libyans is also the first step towards an economic recovery in the country, encouraging foreign investment and trade.

Libya is a country with great potential, both for the Libyan people and for British businesses whose skills and expertise can help Libya rebuild. The Prime Minister’s visit contributed to ongoing efforts to raise the UK’s profile as a trading partner for Libya - the £45 million contract won by DeLaRue to print Libya’s new currency is just one example of British success.

View the story ‘David Cameron’s Africa visit’ on Storify.

Published 31 January 2013