The U.S. ambassador to Libya pledged Washington’s support for its U.N.-backed government and urged rival factions to avoid civil war, as he made a brief visit to the country on Tuesday (May 23) for the first time in nearly three years.
Peter Bodde, who is based in Tunis, and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, flew into Tripoli for two hours to meet the prime minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) and other senior officials.
Bodde said he welcomed efforts to introduce a new constitution as well as economic reforms.
The trip comes after uncertainty over U.S. policy in Libya following Donald Trump’s election as president in November. Trump said in April he did not see a role for the United States in Libya apart from defeating Islamic State.
The GNA has struggled to function since arriving in Tripoli in March last year, failing to resolve deep-rooted security and economic crises in western and southern Libya.