U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
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Italian officials Friday played down suggestions that U.S. President Donald Trump had snubbed efforts by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to get Washington more involved in bringing political stability to Libya.Italian commentators said Trump appeared to have brushed aside Gentiloni's request for help.However, reporters following the news conference said Trump had not been listening to the simultaneous translation when Gentiloni had made his remark and an official close to the Italian prime minister said the meeting had gone well.As proof of the U.S. involvement in Libya, Italian officials said Washington had invited Fayez Seraj, who heads a U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar, a prominent commander in eastern Libya, for talks in the U.S. capital later this year.Italy has thrown its support instead behind Seraj in the west and warns that the divisions could split Libya apart, with dire consequences for the whole region.
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