New York [U.S.A.], Apr 22 : Donald Trump's declaration that the United States had "no role" in Libya has raised doubts about whether a political compromise can still be reached with the help of Americans in the embattled oil-rich country, possibly opening the door to greater Russian involvement in the region.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Thursday, the U.S. President rejected a plea from the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni for the U.S. to maintain its "very critical" role in the country and help build political consensus around the struggling U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.
"I do not see a role in Libya. I think the United States has right now enough roles. We are in a role everywhere," Trump said, adding that the U.S.'s priority in Libya and Iraq was to focus on counter-terrorism efforts to target the ISIS.
Analysts said it was not entirely clear whether the President was signalling a break from the U.S.'s strong support of the Tripoli government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, or whether he was simply stating that he did not envisage the U.S.
taking an active military role in the country. Trump's remarks were welcomed by an official, who represents Aguila Saleh Issa, the head of the Libyan house of representatives in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.
Ari Ben-Menashe, a security consultant based in Canada who has a (Dollar) 6m lobbying contract with Saleh Issa and has tried to convince the Trump administration to drop support for Sarraj, said the US president's remarks made clear that "the US is actively not intervening on behalf of al-Sarraj".