According to a White House statement on Friday, President Donald Trump talked with Lybian commander Khalifa Haftar by phone, on the ongoing counterterrorism efforts by the leader of a military assault on the capital of Libya in opposition to the country’s internationally recognized government, Reuters reported.
According to the statement, President Trump 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.
This phone call happened on Monday, and the White House had not shared any details until now, which is still unclear.
Yesterday, Russia and the United States shared the same attitude about supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Libya at the moment.
Meanwhile, Tripoli is being hit with mortar bombs, as some of them nearly hit a clinic.
President Trump is currently residing at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as Easter weekend arrived.
John Bolton, the White House national security adviser was one of the few who also spoke to Haftar recently.
According to Jalel Harchaoui, who is a research fellow at the Clingendael Institute international relations think tank in the Hague, Trump’s phone call was tantamount to supporting Haftar’s operation and thus is creating an environment where a military intervention by foreign states like Egypt is likely to happen.
‘’One reason behind Trump’s phone call is that Haftar’s army has revealed itself less powerful than the Libyan strongman had claimed,” he said.
Haftar is known as one of the officers who helped Muammar Gadafi come to power half a century ago and fell with him during the war with Chad in the 1980s. After that, he was taken prisoner by the opposing side and the CIA intervened after his collaboration with Chad in overthrowing Gadafi.
Haftar lived in Virginia for almost 20 years as he returned to his country to join the rebels who overthrew Gadafi.