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The United States suspended operations at its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia ...
amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli. (July 26)
Tags:ap,AP News,Associated Press,evacuates,john kerry,united states
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SHOTLIST:POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLYParis, France - July 26, 20142. SOUNDBITE (English) John Kerry, US Secretary of State: "The United States, together with other countries - one of them Turkey- have decided that because of the freewheeling militia violence that is taking place in Tripoli particularly, in our case, around - a lot of the violence is around our embassy but not on the embassy. But nevertheless it presents a very real risk to our personnel. So we are suspending our current diplomatic activities at the embassy - not closing the embassy, but suspending the activities. And we have moved people on ground to Tunisia where they will then disperse to other places where we will then continue our diplomatic activities in Libya. We are deeply committed and remain committed to the diplomatic process in Libya. Our envoy will continue to be engaged with the British envoy and other envoys, and we will continue to try to build out of the election the legitimacy of the government formation, and the efforts to end the violence. We call on all Libyans to engage in the political process and to come together in order to avoid the violence. So many people died and gave so much effort to the birth of the new Libya and we're very very hopeful that together all those people will recognize that the current course of violence will only bring chaos and possibly longer-term difficulties. We will return the moment the security situation permits us to do so. But given the situation, as with Turkey - I think they moved some 700 people or so out - we want to take every precaution to protect our folks."STORYLINE:The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said."We are deeply committed and remain committed to the diplomatic process in Libya. Our envoy will continue to be engaged with the British envoy and other envoys, and we will continue to try to build out of the election the legitimacy of the government formation, and the efforts to end the violence," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in Paris for meetings aimed at pursuing a permanent ceasefire in Gaza."We will return the moment the security situation permits us to do so. But given the situation, as with Turkey - I think they moved some 700 people or so out - we want to take every precaution to protect our folks," Kerry said.The U.S. is just latest in a number of countries to have closed down their diplomatic operations in Libya. Turkey on Friday announced that it had closed down its embassy and militia clashes in Benghazi have prompted the United Nations, aid groups and foreign envoys to leave.