New Consular Section Open in Tripoli
Tripoli - On March 24th, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Janice L. Jacobs, cut the ribbon on the new Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy located on Jeraba Street in the Ben Ashour neighborhood of Tripoli. More than seventy guests, among them Libyan government officials, press, students, businesspeople, and foreign diplomats attended the ceremony. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene A. Cretz introduced the Assistant Secretary and emphasized the tremendous progress that the Embassy had made in issuing visas to Libyans over the past year. In less than twelve months, the Embassy has issued over 4,500 non-immigrant visas to Libyan tourists, businesspeople, students, and government officials.
In her remarks, Assistant Secretary Jacobs lauded Embassy Consular staff members, both past and present, for their work in assisting Libyan travelers to the United States. She noted that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli is the first U.S. embassy in the Middle East, and one of the first in the world, to use the new Electronic Visa Application form (DS-160) and that high-tech processing has greatly reduced processing times for visas. She explained that the United States believes strongly in the free movement of peoples and ideas and that she looks forward to the day when American tourists can visit Libya as easily as Libyan tourists can now visit the United States. Please click here to view the Assistant Secretary's remarks.
Assistant Secretary Janice Jacobs visited Libya on Wednesday, March 24th and Thursday, March 25th, 2010. Assistant Secretary Jacobs is responsible for visa and consular issues throughout the world and is the highest ranking U.S. consular official to visit Libya in more than thirty years.
Assistant Secretary Jacobs held high-level meetings with her Libyan counterparts. During her visit, she launched visa reciprocity talks with Libya, aimed at ultimately negotiating a visa reciprocity agreement.
Ambassador Jacobs is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with 29 years of experience in Africa, Latin America and Europe. She has advanced foreign policy interests across a broad range of issues including democratization and human rights, trade and investment liberalization, counter-terrorism and immigration. Please click here to see the Assistant Secretary's full biography.