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White House says Trump spoke to Libyan commander Haftar

Published: Updated:

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Monday to Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.”

The statement said 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.”

On Thursday, mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of Tripoli, almost hitting a clinic, after two weeks of an offensive by Haftar’s eastern troops on the Libyan capital, which is held by an internationally recognized government.

On Thursday, both the United States and Russia said they could not support a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at this time.

Also on Friday, the UN said it had evacuated 163 refugees from war-ravaged Libya to neighboring Niger, but more than 3,000 others were still trapped in detention centers affected by clashes.