US senior lawmakers reject Trump’s “no role in Libya” comment, urge for more engagement

U.S. President Donald Trump West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Senior lawmakers on Tuesday rejected President Donald Trump’s declaration that the United States has “no role” in Libya, citing the threat of regional instability to U.S. national security interests, According to the American website, The Washington Free Beacon.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said Libya’s ongoing battle over power and access to natural resources has created a permissive environment for extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda, The Washington Free Beacon added.

Cardin, during opening remarks for a hearing assessing U.S. policy options in the war-torn nation, said it is vital to U.S. security interests that the Trump administration work with the international community and local forces to craft a political solution that creates a representative government, The Washington Free Beacon indicated.

“The United States must be engaged,” Cardin said. “When we don’t have representative governments … it creates a void and that void is filled by ISIS, as we’ve seen in northern Africa, and it’s filled by Russia, which we’re seeing Russia’s engagement now in Libya.” According to the report by The Washington Free Beacon.

“I think this hearing is an important indication by Congress that we do expect a role to be played,” he was cited by The Washington Free Beacon as saying.

Trump raised concerns Thursday when he rejected calls from Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to maintain America’s “very critical” role in Libya. The United States currently is working to build political consensus around the fragile United Nations-backed government in Tripoli. Trump said during the joint press conference with Gentiloni that the U.S. priority in Libya is counterterrorism efforts to degrade ISIS. According to The Washington Free Beacon.

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