US President Barack Obama called on the leaders of Libya and Egypt to ensure the safety of US diplomatic facilities and personnel, the White House said Thursday, after four Americans were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, dpa reported.
In his conversation with Mohammed al-Magariaf, the chief of Libya's National Congress - the country's highest authority - Obama said the Libyan government must ensure the "security of our personnel going forward."
The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed by insurgents late Tuesday in the eastern city of Benghazi.
US officials have said they were uncertain about the motivation. It was not clear if the attack was provoked by an anti-Islamic YouTube video, Innocence of Muslims, or the result of careful planning by a terrorist group.
Obama thanked al-Magariaf for the government's cooperation in responding to what he called an outrageous attack. "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 statement said.
In a separate call to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, also Wednesday, Obama "underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the United States in securing US diplomatic facilities and personnel."
Obama told Morsi that while he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam, there was "never justification for violence against innocents."
The Libyan Interior Ministry said Wednesday that the mass protest outside the consulate against the film deemed insulting to Prophet Mohammed was "manipulated" by loyalists of Moamer Gaddafi's deposed regime. Rocket-propelled grenades were used in the attack.
The proliferation of arms, left behind from the conflict that ended Gaddafi's 42-year rule last year, continues to pose a threat to the North African country's security.