President Donald Trump contacted Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi last week to discuss bilateral issues.
In a statement, the White House announced, “Leaders discussed important regional and bilateral issues. (…) Regarding Libya, the leaders rejected foreign exploitation and agreed that parties must take urgent steps to resolve the conflict before Libyans loose control to foreign actors.”
After the death of the dictator Gadhafi, the conflict in Libya “left behind a patchwork of local, tribal, and Islamist militias governing various fiefdoms, often through extortion and brute force. It also transformed Libya into a haven for extremists and a major conduit for migrants making perilous journeys to Europe,” according to journalist Joseph Krauss.
Meanwhile, OAN political correspondent Chanel Rion said, “Both Trump and al-Sisi agreed that Libya is at risk of getting lost among foreign actors and that the parties involved must take measures to prevent this type of exploitation that Libya has suffered since 2011, and that the overthrow of Moammar al-Gadhafi has been a serious global diplomatic crisis.”
In the telephone conversation, the presidents discussed the conflict on Libyan territory amid reports that Russian mercenaries are supporting Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).
“The Trump administration has expressed concern about Russia’s influence in Libya, while Egypt’s role in the Libyan conflict is based on its commitment to rebuild Libya as an ally,” Rion added.
According to Rion, the military support that the Russian army is providing to the LNA is aimed at seeking lucrative oil deals.
In a statement issued Saturday, Dec. 28, the State Department said the United States is concerned “by the LNA’s threat to use foreign-supplied air assets and mercenaries to attack Misrata,” according to The Hill.
“We deplore attacks on innocent civilians and call on all sides to refrain from escalation. The United States is prepared to work with the UN and all the parties to initiate political negotiations,” wrote State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.
According to The Hill, President Trump held talks with al-Sisi over a two-week period while at his Mar a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.