WORLD

Donald Trump calls Libyan commander pushing to seize Tripoli

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke this week with Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan warlord fighting to capture the capital Tripoli, the White House said Friday. Trump and Haftar spoke on Monday "to discuss ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya," according to the White House press office. The statement said that Trump "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources."

U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken by phone with Libya's Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, who is leading an offensive to take over the capital of Tripoli — the seat of the U.N.-supported government.

According to a readout released by the White House on Friday, Trump and Hifter talked about counter-terrorism and the political future of Libya. The call took place earlier in the week.

The statement says: "The President recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system."

Hifter is aligned with a rival government in the east that is supported by Trump's allies Egypt and United Arab Emirates.

Fighting between Hifter's army and Tripoli forces threatens to ignite a civil war.

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