Obama, Libyan prime minister confer at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama has met with Libya’s prime minister at the White House ahead of the nation’s June elections in a post-Moammar Gadhafi world.

The prime minister, Abdurrahim el-Keib, is in Washington for a series of meetings with U.S. officials, although his meeting with Obama had not been announced.

In the White House’s account of the meeting, Obama prodded el-Keib on the need for an openness and engagement with Libya’s civil society as the government creates its institutions. Obama praised him for his leadership as Libya moves to build a democracy and reconstitute itself.

Libyan rebels overthrew the Gadhafi regime last year. They received military backing from the United States and other nations.

The White House says that Obama made note of the sacrifice of Americans in securing Libya’s freedom.