Attack on US Consulate in Benghazi

Media release

13 September 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today condemned the attack of the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the killing of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues.

“This was a barbaric attack  and it deserves the strongest condemnation,” Senator Carr said.

“Ambassador Chris Stevens was a friend to Australia.

“When we were trying to exert pressure to get Melinda Taylor freed, Chris Stevens was one of the people on the ground in Libya who made representations on our behalf and for her release.

“And he was a diplomat doing his job for his nation – seeking to build bridges between America and the people of Libya.

"There's a very important principle in this - that diplomats should be protected and should be immune from this sort of attack.

"They are unarmed and they are easy targets but the international system is based on the work they do."

Senator Carr said condolences for Ambassador Stevens’ death had been passed on to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and US ambassador in Australia Mr Jeffrey Bleich.

“This attack from the political sidelines is a reminder that the politics of Libya are complex and fragile,” Senator Carr said.

“Libya is a country finding its way out of the wreckage of decades of dictatorship, and struggling with the challenges of rogue militia and Gaddafi sympathisers.

“The perpetrators of this attack must be brought to justice. And President Magariaf and his Government deserve our support as they seek to do so.”

The US Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and set alight late on September 11 (Benghazi time). Ambassador Stevens and other diplomats were killed while overseeing the evacuation of other staff. The deaths were confirmed by the US State Department at approximately 10.30pm September 12 AEST.

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