State Department sends counterterrorism expert to replace slain ambassador to Libya

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Laurence Pope arrived in Libya today to continue the work of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the recent terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“Laurence Pope has arrived in Tripoli as U.S. Chargé d’ Affairs to Libya,” the State Department announced today. “We will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions and broad respect for the rule of law – the goals that Ambassador Stevens worked hard to achieve.”

A Chargé d’ Affairs serves as the top diplomat in the absence of an official ambassador. Stevens died on September 11, 2012, when forces reported to have ties to al-Qaida attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. President Obama’s administration initially claimed that the attack resulted from a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam movie trailer, but it now says that the attack was a coordinated terrorist assault.

Pope, who served in the State Department for 31 years before retiring in 2000, has experience with terrorism. He was the Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism from 1991-1993. In 2000, President Clinton nominated him to serve as Ambassador to Kuwait.




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