President Obama called the leaders of Libya and Egypt yesterday, the White House said, to talk “bilateral economic and security cooperation” in the wake of the attacks on U.S. embassies.
It was the first time Obama had even spoken with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf since his North African counterpart was elected last month.
Obama “expressed appreciation for the cooperation we have received from the Libyan government and people in responding to this outrageous attack, and said that the Libyan government must continue to work with us to assure the security of our personnel going forward,” said a readout from the White House. “The President made it clear that we must work together to do whatever is necessary to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice.”
The president “reaffirmed our support for Libya’s democratic transition, a cause Ambassador Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance.”
Earlier in the day, Obama called Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
“Given recent events, and consistent with our interest in a relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect, President Obama underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the United States in securing U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel,” the White House readout said. “The President said that he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam, but underscored that there is never any justification for violence against innocents and acts that endanger American personnel and facilities.”
“President Morsi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel.”
Also on Wednesday, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough told the International Religious Freedom Conference that the murders of four Americans was an “outrage” and the highlighted the need to carry on their work.
“That includes building a world that is safer, more secure and the work that brings us together here: a world where the dignity of all people—and all faiths—is respected,” McDonough said. “This work takes on added urgency given the truly abhorrent video that has offended so many people–Muslims, and non-Muslims alike—in our country and around the world.”