British PM Cameron makes unannounced visit to Libya

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David

Cameron arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Thursday in an

unannounced visit to the north African country, his office in

London said.

Cameron is scheduled to meet his Libyan counterpart Ali

Zeidan, and then expected to hold a joint news conference, which

is expected to touch upon the threat of Islamist militancy

across the region.

"The prime minister landed in Tripoli earlier on Thursday,

and will discuss bilateral relations with Libyan officials," a

spokeswoman for his Downing Street office said.

Cameron met Ashour Shuail, the Libyan interior minister, and

visited a police training academy on Thursday morning.

The British premier visited Libya in 2011 along with then

French President Nicolas Sarkozy after rebels ousted former

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with French, British and U.S.

backing.

Libya's nascent institutions have since struggled to rein in

armed groups, and the country's second city of Benghazi has in

particular experienced a wave of violence in recent months.

Oil producer Libya is keen to attract foreign funds and

expertise after years of chronic under-investment under Gaddafi,

and officials were last week irked when Britain issued a warning

urging its citizens to leave Benghazi due to an unspecified

"specific, imminent" threat.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in Tripoli; Writing by

Mohammed Abbas in London; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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