The Cable

Qaddafi still rules Libya ... according to State Dept website

Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department Thursday, but let's hope he didn't check the State Department's website, which still has Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi listed as the head of the country.

Sure, the Arab Spring must keep the State Department web teams busy with revisions, but Qaddafi has been dead for months now. You wouldn't know that by reading the State Department's website, though, as it still shows the all-green Qaddafi flag on its Libya page and refers to Libya as the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." The Libya page was last updated in July 2011, after NATO forces had begun attacking Libya but before the Qaddafi regime fell. (And yes, the State Department gift shop still sells flag pins with the old Libyan flag juxtaposed with the stars and stripes.)

Clinton celebrated the new Libyan government in her remarks after her meeting with Keib.

"Just think, this time last year, the United States was working to build an international coalition of support for the Libyan people, and today we are proud to continue that support as the people of Libya build a new democracy that will bring about peace and prosperity and protect the rights and dignity of every citizen," she said.

"We've seen progress in each of the three key areas of democratic society -- building an accountable, effective government; promoting a strong private sector; and developing a vibrant civil society. And we will stand with the people of Libya as it continues this important work."

Clinton lauded Libya's new election law and endorsed the goal of holding constitutional assembly elections this June. She praised Libya's increasing oil production and acknowledged the country still has a ways to go in the areas of border security, integrating militias, and working toward national reconciliation.

Keib thanked the entire Obama administration "for having been a tremendous support and for their strong leadership in supporting the Libyan revolution," and asked Clinton for help in retrieving the billions that Qaddafi is thought to have stolen from Libya and returning it to the Libyan people.

"In the past year, the dynamics between the U.S. and Libya has been dramatically transformed for the better," he said.

On Wednesday morning, Keib met with President Barack Obama and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon at the White House. He spoke at the U.N. Security Council in the afternoon and attended a dinner at the official residence of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, sharing a table with actress Angelina Jolie and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Keib said Thursday he was not aware of any training camps in Libya for Syrian rebels, as the Russian government has alleged exist, but said he supports the Syrian opposition and formal recognition of the Syrian National Council. Libya has pledged $100 million for the Syrian cause.

Clinton said the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC) could be a model for the Syrian opposition.

"[The NTC] presented a unified presence that created an address as to where to go to help them, a lot of confidence in their capacities on the ground, their commitment to the kind of inclusive democracy that Libya is now building," Clinton said. "And we are working closely with the Syrian opposition to try to assist them to be able to present that kind of unified front and resolve that I know they feel in their own -- on their behalf is essential in this struggle against the brutal Assad regime."

And Clinton was quick to mention that she raised with Keib the issue of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 108 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the U.S. desire to see the convicted plotter Abdelbaset al-Megrahi returned to prison.

"You know where I stand. I believe that Megrahi should still be behind bars," she said. "We will continue to fight for justice for all the victims of Qaddafi and his regime. And in this particular case, the U.S. Department of Justice has an open case, and it will remain open while we work together on it."

The Cable

Nobel Peace laureate: The international community is failing in Syria

The international community must do much more to pressure the regime of Syrian Bashar al-Assad, but the time has not come yet for any military intervention, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Yemeni dissident Tawakkul Karman tells The Cable.

"The international community has not performed its duties sufficiently to assist and support Syria and the people of Syria. And due to this delay in action, this is why we have this huge scope of destruction and blood," Karman said in a Thursday interview. She was in town to speak at the International Women of Courage Awards, hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama.

"When we talk about intervention, we do not talk about military intervention, we talk about all forms of peaceful intervention that would place more pressure on the Assad regime, strangulate him from every direction, and cut all forms of aid to the regime," she said.

Karman identified several useful steps the international community still has not taken to escalate the pressure on the Syrian regime, including freezing the assets of Assad himself and his entourage, severing diplomatic relations with the regime, and increasing political and economic sanctions, all of which should be done before further militarizing the conflict.

"So far unfortunately the international community has chosen only to speak out and then do nothing," she said. "Arming the opposition is the last resort. It's more important to support the revolution by using financial means at this point. Money is the lifeblood of these regimes."

The time may come when the international community should move to arm the Syrian opposition for an all-out fight with Assad, according to Karman.

"The question is, has the international community exhausted all other options before getting to this point?" she said. "So far that hasn't happened."

Karman also said the international community must not be fooled by false concerns that extremist elements, such as al Qaeda, will take over in Syria if and when the Assad regime falls.

"These are the same concerns that were expressed before the fall of Qaddafi, Mubarak, and Saleh, and we all know that these dictators are the ones who feed the ideology of al Qaeda and help spread its beliefs," she said. "And without these dictators the Arab world is much more peaceful and stable. And the youth of the Arab Spring are determined to ensure that all forms of terrorism in the region are stopped."

"If there are any incidents, it's the dictators who are behind them to instill fear in the international problem," she said. "In general, this problem does exist and the Arab youth are determined to wipe it out. This is the message of our peaceful revolution."

Asked about growing concerns about recent al Qaeda-linked attacks in Yemen, she said: "It's the remnants of the Saleh regime and this is not al Qaeda."

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