Trump’s Call with Renegade Libyan General Could Signal a Shift in U.S. Policy by Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan – Washington Post
The White House said Friday that President Trump, in a phone call with renegade Libyan general Khalifa Hifter, praised Hifter for fighting terrorism and protecting Libya’s oil, comments that were far afield from the administration’s stated policy on Libya.
Hifter, whose militia forces have long controlled eastern Libya, launched an offensive early this month to seize Tripoli, the capital, and oust the U.N.-backed government.
Amid heavy fighting that threatens all-out urban warfare, the United Nations and many countries — including the United States — have called for an immediate cease-fire.
The State Department and the Defense Department have publicly urged Hifter to stand down and join U.N.-led negotiations with the National Accord government headed by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj. In a sharply worded statement last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was “deeply concerned” and that “we have made clear that we oppose the military offensive” by Hifter’s forces…