President Donald Trump has said he does not see a role for the United States in Libya apart from defeating the Islamic State terror group.
At a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni yesterday, Trump said the US will play no part in helping stabilise the war-ravaged nation.
"I do not see a role in Libya," he said, moments after Gentiloni stressed on the "critical" importance of American engagement in ensuring a stable and unified Libya. "I think the United States has right now enough roles. We're in a role everywhere."
"I do see a role in getting rid of ISIS. We are being very effective in that regard," he asserted.
Trump said he saw defeating the Islamic State, be it in Iraq or Libya, as the primary task for the US, beyond which he would want to focus on issues back home.
"It is a horrible thing to say, but we have no choice. We are effectively ridding the world of ISIS. I see that as a primary role, and that's what we are going to do, whether it is in Iraq or in Libya or anywhere else. That role will come to an end at a certain point, and we'll be able to go back home and rebuild our country, which is what I want to do," he said.
Gentiloni earlier said that a divided and conflict-torn Libya would make stability worse, stressing that the US's part in the situation was "critical".
"I believe that one clear goal should be this: We need the region, and we need countries like Egypt and Tunisia that are close to Libya. We need a stable and unified Libya. A divided country and in conflict would make stability worse. The US role in this is very critical," the prime minister said.
He said America has played a key role in preventing the consolidation of terrorism with the IS facing defeat in Iraq and Syria.
"There were operations that were sustained by the US against Daesh in the city of Sirte which were successful. Now the commitment must be political," he said.
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