Trump Sees No Role for U.S. in Stabilizing Libya

By Melanie Arter | April 21, 2017 | 12:18 PM EDT

( - President Donald Trump said Thursday that he does not see the U.S. playing a role in helping to stabilize Libya, because the U.S. has enough roles right now.

“I do not see a role in Libya. I think the United States has right now enough roles. We’re in a role everywhere, so I do not see that,” Trump said when asked if he sees a role for his administration in helping to stabilize Libya and if stabilizing Libya means combating terrorism and ISIS.


“I do see a role in getting rid of ISIS. We’re being very effective in that regard. We are doing a job, with respect to ISIS, that has not been done anywhere near the numbers that we’re producing right now. It’s a very effective force we have. We have no choice. It’s a horrible thing to say, but we have no choice,” the president said in a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House.

Trump said he considers getting rid of ISIS the United States’ primary role.

“And we are effectively ridding the world of ISIS. I see that as a primary role, and that’s what we’re going to do, whether it’s in Iraq or in Libya or anywhere else, and 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.

“President Gentiloni, you have focused a lot on the leadership -- Italian leadership and American leadership -- in order to stabilize Libya. What do you expect exactly from Washington? And especially, I am asking you, what is necessary in this process, in this relationship of cooperation with Russia?” a reporter asked.

“America has played a very key role -- first of all, to prevent the consolidation of an important basis for terrorism while Daesh was undergoing defeat in Iraq and Syria. There were operations that were sustained by the U.S. against Daesh in the city of Sirte which were successful, Gentiloni said.

“Now the commitment must be political, and, therefore, in the cooperation of U.S. and Italy and other key partners in the region, the goal is to broaden the basis -- the consensus for the Tripoli government, which is recognized by the international community, but which must be able to count on a broader consensus,” he said.

“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 U.S. role in this is very critical,” the prime minister said.