Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the evacuation of U.S. Embassy personnel from Tripoli, Libya: 

“I appreciate the efforts of the Departments of State and Defense to safely evacuate our embassy personnel from Libya.  Given the chaotic security situation near our embassy in Tripoli, this seems like the right call. 

“Unfortunately, this development was predictable, given the lack of direction and leadership from this Administration since it ousted Muammar Gaddafi.  Our diplomatic absence will make the hard task of achieving political stability in Libya even harder.  When security conditions permit the return of our diplomats, the Administration must give them a new charge to help end the fighting and move Libya forward. 

“Unfortunately we can add Libya to the growing list of countries in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia where extremist forces are gaining strength and threatening U.S. interests.”

Note:  Last year, the House of Representatives passed important, bipartisan embassy security legislation, sponsored by Chairman Royce and Rep.  Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member.  The legislation, H.R. 2848, is awaiting Senate consideration.