Obama asks Libya for help with security

STAPLETON, Colo. — President Obama on Wednesday called Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf to thank him for the Libyan government’s cooperation in the aftermath of violence that took the lives of a U.S. ambassador and three others.

Obama also urged Magariaf and the Libyan government to work with the United States “to assure the security of our personnel going forward,” according to a statement the White House put out early Thursday morning.

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“The president made it clear that we must work together to do whatever is necessary to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice,” the White House said. “The two presidents agreed to work closely over the course of this investigation."

The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the U.S. embassy in Egypt both came under attack Tuesday. On Thursday morning, crowds attempted to scale the walls of the U.S. embassy in Yemen. 

In Egypt, initial reports indicated the attack was the result of a mob, but in Libya, some said the incident looked more like an orchestrated terrorist attack.  

In a separate call, Obama also reached out to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi late Wednesday. 

“Given recent events, and consistent with our interest in a relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect, President Obama underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the United States in securing U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel,” a statement by the White House said.

In an interview earlier in the day with Telemundo, Obama said he doesn't consider Egypt a friend of the United States but doesn't consider them an enemy either. And he added, “I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.”

“Certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that (they are) responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected, and if they take actions that they’re not taking those responsibilities, as all countries do where we have embassies, I think that’s going to be a real big problem,” Obama said.

In the call with Magariaf, the White House said Obama “reaffirmed our support for Libya's democratic transition,” calling it “a cause the late Ambassador [Chris] Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance.”

Obama reached out to the leaders Wednesday evening after spending the latter part of the day campaigning in Las Vegas before traveling to Colorado for an event on Thursday.