Statement from National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien Regarding Libya

The United States is deeply troubled by the escalating conflict in Libya. We strongly oppose foreign military involvement, including the use of mercenaries and private military contractors, by all sides. The ongoing efforts of foreign powers to exploit the conflict – for example, by establishing an enduring military presence or exerting control over resources that belong to the Libyan people – pose grave threats to regional stability and global commerce. Furthermore, these efforts undermine the collective security interests of the United States and our allies and partners in the Mediterranean region. Escalation will only deepen and prolong the conflict.

Over the past weeks, President Trump has spoken with several world leaders about Libya, and it is clear there is no “winning” side. Libyans can win only if they come together to reclaim their sovereignty and rebuild a unified country. As an active, but neutral, actor, the United States is pursuing a 360 degree diplomatic engagement with Libyan and external stakeholders across the conflict to find a solution that supports Libyan sovereignty and protects the shared interests of the United States, our allies, and partners. To that end, we call on all parties – both those responsible for the current escalation and those working to end it – to enable the National Oil Corporation to resume its vital work, with full transparency, and to implement a demilitarized solution for Sirte and al-Jufra, respect the UN arms embargo, and finalize a ceasefire under the UN-led 5+5 military talks.

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