Struggling to resume oil production in Libya
September 19th, 2011
09:03 PM ET

Struggling to resume oil production in Libya

By Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty on assignment in Zurwarah, Libya

Drive west from Tripoli along the Mediterranean coast for an hour an a half and you’ll see it in the distance: the gas flare at the Mellitah Oil & Gas Company’s massive processing plant in Zuwarah.

Just a few weeks ago rebels and Gadhafi loyalists were shooting it out right down the road. Houses and stores are scarred with blackened holes where shells hit.

The complex, which processes and exports crude oil, natural gas, condensed gas and other products, survived intact but the last export of crude oil was in March. Most of the Libyan workers were scared off by the fighting and foreign workers pulled out en masse.

Some natural gas still is flowing to nearby power plants but gas exports to Europe stopped shortly after the revolution began. By the water’s edge you can see the gas pipeline behind a fence, curving down like the crook of an arm and disappearing into the earth. From here it stretches 330 miles under the Mediterranean Sea to Sicily, providing gas for Italy. The company is hoping it can restart gas supplies before the European winter sets in.

In Tripoli, at the headquarters of Mellitah Oil & Gas, we meet Najmi M. Karim, the new chairman, appointed just a few days ago. He’s moving into his new office at company headquarters.

"The biggest challenge for us is to get back to production levels before events. This is our target,” Karim said.

“Events” is one of the words Libyans now use to refer to the uprising of February 17th. FULL POST

Seen and heard at the UNGA
Sign on the wall in the New York Waldorf Astoria where many of the State Department operations are based for UNGA week
September 19th, 2011
06:29 PM ET

Seen and heard at the UNGA

Dozens of Senagalese waiting on Second Avenue for Pres. Abdoulaye Wade.  The women were wearing local dress with his face printed on...Two Ban Ki-moon staffers smoking outside as the UN Secretary General and World Health Organization hold event calling for action against major diseases, with some harsh words for tobacco companies...ABC's Katie Couric introducing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a UN event by noting Clinton has the "highest approval rating of any US government official today"

– Elise Labott, Richard Roth and Krever Mick contributed to this report

Filed under: Security Brief
Clinton: Turkey needs to keep open mind about Israel
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Turkish Foreign MInister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2011
September 19th, 2011
03:36 PM ET

Clinton: Turkey needs to keep open mind about Israel

By Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott reporting from the UN General Assembly

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday urged Turkey not to close the door on mending fences with Israel, amid deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Clinton delivered the message during a meeting with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly

"We want to see them repair their relationship," a senior US official said after the meeting. "She encouraged Turkey to keep the door open."

The official was not authorized to speak on the record about sensitive diplomatic discussions.

Clinton encouraged the Turks "to avoid any steps that would close that door and on the contrary to actively seek ways that they can repair (their) important relationship with Israel," the official said

Turkey has downgraded relations with Israel over Israel's refusal to apologize or pay compensation for eight slain Turks and one Turkish-American. The humanitarian workers and activists were shot dead by Israeli commandos in a botched 2010 raid on an aid convoy that was trying to bust Israel's sea blockade of Gaza.

The US has voiced strong concern about the rift between two of its close allies in the region and Clinton has been urging both sides to resolve their differences in calls with Israeli and Turkish leaders in recent months.

U.N. General Assembly: A viewer's guide
September 19th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

U.N. General Assembly: A viewer's guide

By CNN's Joe Vaccarello

World leaders converge on the United Nations in New York this week for the 66th annual session of the General Assembly. Of 193 member nations, South Sudan being newly inducted this past July, 121 heads of state and government are expected to attend the six-day event.

Here is a helpful Security Clearance viewer's guide to key events this week.


The U.N. kicks off events with a two-day first-ever high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases that cumulatively kill three in five people worldwide. It will focus on combating cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is looking to "broker an international commitment that puts noncommunicable diseases high on the development agenda." FULL POST

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