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Libya: Hillary Clinton in Tripoli on surprise visit for talks with NTC leaders

Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, arrives in Tripoli on a surprise visit for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), and to show support for the Libyan people.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi give a press conference on October 18, 2011 in Valletta after their meeting on the situation in Libya. The Mediterranean island state is the closest European country to Libya and has been a center for humanitarian aid efforts and the evacuation of workers from the strife-torn country. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton arrived in Libya Tuesday on a surprise visit to hold talks with National Transitional Council (NTC) leaders in Tripoli, and to show support for the Libyan people.

The U.S. Secretary of State is only expected to be in Tripoli, the capital, for a few hours, and her visit was kept secret due to security concerns, BBC News reports.

She pledged $11 million in additional aid to the country. The United States has already pledged approximately $135 million to the country since the uprisings began in February.  

According to the Associated Press, Clinton told students and others at a town-hall gathering in Tripoli that the U.S. would like to see the Muammar Gaddafi, the toppled Libyan leader dead. 

"We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don't have to fear him any longers" Clinton said.  

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Clinton flew to Libya on a U.S. military aircraft from Malta, where she met with Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to discuss the Libyan situation. The island has been a hub for humanitarian efforts during the crisis.

She is the first U.S. cabinet-level official to visit Libya following the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi, the BBC says. Clinton's trip follows visits by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who traveled to Libya last month and met with members of the NTC.

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According to the BBC, Clinton will holds talks with NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni.

She is also expected to hold a town hall meeting in Tripoli, focusing on women, young people and civil society leaders.

Agence France-Presse reports that the United States aims to forge new ties with the Libyan people.

Clinton's visit is intended "to signal to the Libyan people that we want a normal partnership going forward that is based on civilian relationships," a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters traveling on the flight to Tripoli, AFP reports.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/111018/libya-hillary-clinton-tripoli-surprise-visit-ntc-talks