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U.S. Government Watching Libya, Cautious About Interfering Too Much

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As lawmakers in the region closely watch the situation in Libya unfold, they're examining ways to increase assistance to the transitional government without coming across as overbearing westerners.

Lawmakers in the region saw the Libyan rebels gaining ground over the weekend, but no one anticipated such a swift turn of events. Now the question facing policymakers is how the U.S. can support the transitional government without interfering in the country's democratic process.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee says unless there's a specific request, U.S. policymakers need to keep as hands-off as possible.

"We hope that the new leaders of Libya will seek assistance internationally, but it's really up to the people of Libya to determine their future," Cardin says.

?All of the accounts in the U.S. that belong to the Gaddafi regime are frozen. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says in the near future he hopes those funds can be used to help stabilize the country.

?"There's a lot, obviously, we can do to help," Connolly says. "The United States has frozen $34 billion worth of assets, Libyan assets, here in the United States. Once we have a transitional government firmly in place in Tripoli, I think it would be appropriate to unfreeze those assets for investment in infrastructure, much of which has been damaged during this insurrection."

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