US Ambassador Makes First Visit to Libya, Meets With Hafter First

Still no date set for Ambassador to meet PM

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland found himself in a place he’d previously had yet to visit on Tuesday – Libya. Security woes have left the embassy to Libya temporarily in Tunisia, and Norland is only now crossing in to make some contacts.

Potentially telling of US policy, Norland’s first visit into Libya saw him meeting with Gen. Khalifa Hafter, the head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA). Hafter is a former CIA asset, and is using the LNA in his latest coup attempt in Libya.

Norland emphasized that meeting with Hafter was done just to emphasize his support for a ceasefire. The US has been seen as at least somewhat favorable to Hafter, who is backed by a number of Gulf Arab states, however, and this meeting only adds to that sense.

Conspicuously, Norland not only didn’t visit Tripoli to meet with Prime Minister Serraj, but has not even set a date to do so yet, suggesting that such a meeting would only happen when the security conditions permit.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.