Diplomats Seek to Stabilize Libya 03/06 12:51
ROME (AP) -- World diplomats worked Thursday to try to help Libya create a
stable government and more secure environment amid the violence and growing
political tensions that have festered since Moammar Gadhafi's regime crumbled
The meeting of foreign ministers, mostly from the West and Gulf states,
focused largely on easing disagreements among Libya's diverse tribal, religious
and ethnic populations, looking toward writing a new constitution and holding
elections this year. The ministers are also working to secure the weapons and
ammunition left over from the Gadhafi regime to help bring more security to the
"Those mostly uncontrolled materials are a threat to the entire region,"
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the conference, adding
that Germany and France are allocating several million euros (dollars) for the
weapons-securing project this year.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shared a warm handshake with Libyan Prime
Minister Ali Zidan at the start of the meeting at Italy's foreign ministry. He
also met with Nouri Abu Sahmein, the Islamist-leaning president of Libya's
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who hosted the conference, said
the international community wants to give the Libyan people support. She said
they are suffering "far beyond what was expected and would be normal" from
uncontrolled circulation of weapons and other violence.
The Libyan parliament's term expired last month, but lawmakers voted to
extend it and hold new elections in the spring.
Protesters have been holding daily demonstrations demanding parliament be