May 25, 2013
United Nations condemns attack on US diplomats in Libya
The United Nations strongly condemned an assault that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff and said the "horrific and tragic attack" further spotlighted the security challenges facing Libyan authorities.
US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff were killed on Tuesday in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge, stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.
"The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms but there is no justification for violence such as occurred in Benghazi," UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the UN Security Council during a regularly scheduled briefing on Libya.
Feltman, the former top US diplomat for the Middle East who described Stevens as a friend, said, "We condemn in the strongest terms this attack on a diplomatic facility."
German UN Ambassador Peter Wittig, president of the Security Council for September, told reporters before the meeting that the 15-member body hoped to issue a statement soon condemning the killings.
Libya's Deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the council that an investigation of the attack was under way and that Libyan authorities would bring those responsible to justice. He said "less than 10 victims" were Libyan security force members.
"This attack ... cannot be considered as a defense of Islam," he said. "This attack gravely damages the image of Islam."
While Libya held a largely peaceful election in early July, its first national and free vote in 60 years, Dabbashi said the reality was "the government is still not governing the whole territory of Libya and there are some groups and persons who are outlawed and the government could not ... contain all of them."