Kirk returns from Libya, says no more U.S. aid is needed

September 29, 2011

(AP/Abdel Magid al-Fergany)
Senator Kirk, second from left, in Tripoli, joined by his GOP colleagues John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said the United States doesn't need to give any more aid to Libya.

Speaking to reporters by phone Thursday on his way back from Tripoli, the Illinois Republican Kirk said the country has enough money to support itself - at least $100 billion seized by the international community from former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"Libya does not need foreign assistance funding from the United States," said Kirk. "I had my worries that those funds were not being released on time, but I was reassured by key figures - the chairman, the prime minister, and the finance minister - that they have adequate resources for their capacity right now."

The Senator also sent "kudos" to President Barack Obama, for handling of the situation.

"This was a success by President Obama and his team," said Kirk. "While any military conflict has ups or downs or things you might have done differently, clearly, because of the decisions made, and especially with our British and French allies that carried a heavy load of tactical airpower, we have all the makings of a very strong U.S. ally now in Libya."

Kirk outlined a list of what he hopes to see happen in Libya in the coming months: early elections, the formation of a strong national army, prompt medical assistance to the 60,000 wounded and an end to the "no-fly zone" in the major cities of Benghazi and Tripoli, to encourage civil aviation. He said he hopes fighting would be resolved by the end of October, but that the "age of Gadhafi has definitely ended."

The senator was in Libya on a trip with three of his GOP colleagues, including Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain. He returns to the U.S. Friday morning.