The White House has revealed that President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Monday to Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.”
“[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,” the White House said in a statement on Friday.
Haftar’s forces are currently advancing towards Libya’s capital, Tripoli, which is held by the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). Washington says that it supports the GNA. However, the recent phone call contradicts with this claim.
When the LNA began its operation to capture Tripoli earlier this month, the U.S. was first to evacuate its personnel and diplomats from the Libyan capital.
It’s unclear why the White House delayed the announcement of the phone call. However, there is no doubt that this call represents a major blow to the GNA, which is already facing tense relations with France.