Trump calls Libyan commander pushing to seize Tripoli

CAIRO (AP) — President Donald Trump has spoken by phone with Libya’s Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, who is leading an offensive to take over the capital of Tripoli — the seat of the U.N.-supported government.

According to a readout released by the White House on Friday, Trump and Hifter talked about counter-terrorism and the political future of Libya. The call took place earlier in the week.

The statement says: “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.”

Hifter is aligned with a rival government in the east that is supported by Trump’s allies Egypt and United Arab Emirates.

Fighting between Hifter’s army and Tripoli forces threatens to ignite a civil war.