France vows to help Libya with security

TRIPOLI, Libya — The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told Libyan leaders Monday that democracy cannot exist without security, and he promised to help Libya restore state control.

Fabius spoke in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after meeting with President Mohammed el-Megarif and Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

‘‘There can be no democracy without security. There can be no security without reestablishing the authority of the state,’’ Fabius said in his speech to the Parliament.


He urged Libyan authorities to tighten border security. Otherwise, he warned, ‘‘Libya could find itself given over to disorder and terrorism.’’

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Since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Khadafy in last year’s civil war, the country has been struggling to impose control over various militia groups and overcome rivalries among tribes and communities.

In a separate development Monday, Libya’s prosecutor general said Khadafy’s last prime minister has been charged with embezzlement but his trial has been postponed until December to give the defense more time to prepare.

Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi appeared in a Tripoli court on Monday for the opening session of his trial.

Adel Baara, the prosecutor general’s spokesman, says the court adjourned the proceedings until Dec. 10 to allow the former prime minister’s defense to prepare for the case.


Mahmoudi fled to Tunisia in September 2011.

After spending eight months in detention in Tunisia, authorities there agreed to extradite him to Libya, despite warnings from rights groups that he could face death or torture in his homeland.

Associated Press