US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone last Monday with Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya who ordered his troops on April 4 to take Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
The two men spoke of “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to restore peace and stability in Libya,” the White House reported Friday in a statement.
The US president “recognized the important role of Marshal Haftar in the fight against terrorism and in securing Libyan oil resources,” the statement added. The two leaders “discussed a common vision of the transitional period in Libya with a view to (establishing) a stable and democratic political system”.
It is unclear why the US presidency waited four days before making this interview public.
Donald Trump arrived Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, to spend the Easter weekend there.
On Thursday, the United States and Russia said they could not support a draft resolution presented to the United Nations Security Council by the United Kingdom with a view to establishing a ceasefire in Libya.
Diplomats said Moscow had opposed Britain’s draft resolution, which accuses Marshal Haftar’s Libyan National Army (NLA) of escalating the conflict on the outskirts of the Libyan capital.
The United States did not justify its position, announced during a closed meeting of the Security Council during which the UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, drew up an alarming assessment of the situation. situation, these diplomats added.