U.S. President Donald Trump discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts” and the need to end hostilities with Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar during a telephone call earlier this week, the White House said Friday.
The call Monday comes amid a simmering conflict in the North African nation after Haftar, commander of forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government, launched a campaign to capture Tripoli where a rival UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.
“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,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
Intermittent fighting near Tripoli has left scores of people dead.
The UN fears this new conflict will create another migration crisis.
Libya has remained locked in turmoil since longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
The country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.