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News from the Embassy

Completion of Public Service Announcement (PSA) Training by MEPI Grantees - Remarks by Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks

August 12, 2012 - As Delivered

Thank you very much for having me today. The Ambassador would have liked to have been here. However, he's entertaining a very important guest from the United States Government today and tomorrow.

I appreciate your organizing this event today. I hope it was not for me. I know you have another event tonight at 11:00, and unfortunately, that is after our bedtime at the American Embassy. (laughter)

It is an honor for me to be here today to celebrate the completion of your training. Those were inspiring videos, and it is so exciting to see the dramatic progress being made by Libyan organizations like yourselves toward the establishment of a vibrant civil society in a free Libya.

I am amazed by the extraordinary progress which has been made in the political process in just one year. The progress was marked this week by the transfer of power to the newly elected General National Congress.

As President Obama said, "The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people." Your work - and your work - and your work - reminds us that democracy is much more than elections and government structures. The basis of a strong democracy is the people themselves. People who peacefully - but loudly - speak up for what they believe in. People who engage with, and educate, their fellow citizens about political participation and important social issues. We saw today three beautiful examples of exactly this process at work.

This is why the U.S., United States, through the Middle East Partnership Initiative, is proud to fund the work of organizations like Creative Associates and Barefoot Workshops. Because through them, we are able to support the vanguard of civil society in Libya, including groups like the Sebha Youth Forum, the Libyan Scouts, and the Libyan Organization for Administration and Human Capacity Development. (Interpreter asks for repetition.) It's a long one. (laughter)

Our efforts to establish a positive relationship between the United States and the new, free Libya will not succeed unless we build a relationship between the American and Libyan people.

Your work is a foundation of Libya's future and Libya's democracy. We are honored and proud to support it.

Thank you all very much. (applause)