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Veteran US diplomat takes charge in Libya

Published on Oct 12, 2012 7:48 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A month after the killing of United States (US) ambassador Chris Stevens, Washington said on Thursday it has brought a veteran diplomat out of retirement to head up its Libya team vowing to help build the new democracy.

Arabic speaker Laurence Pope, who left the Foreign Service in 2000, arrived on Wednesday in Tripoli to join staff there still shocked by the loss of Stevens, who was killed in the Sept 11 militant attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

Stevens, killed along with three other diplomatic staff when armed men invaded and torched the Benghazi building, was the first US diplomat to be killed on active duty since 1979.

Mr Pope will have a tricky job, taking over at a time when staffing at the Tripoli embassy has been reduced for security reasons, and the US administration has yet to decide whether to reopen a consulate in Benghazi.

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