Bloomberg Businessweek

Trump’s New Favorite Warlord

Khalifa Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli has U.S. support and Middle Eastern backers
Demonstrating against the Haftar offensive

On March 25, while Libya was preparing to receive the head of the United Nations, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj placed a call to his rival, the military strongman Khalifa Haftar. In recent years the two had held most of their meetings abroad. Sarraj proposed that they meet again—this time at home—to put the final touches on an historic political deal that could unite the divided North African country.

A mild-mannered businessman with patrician features and a bushy gray mustache, the UN-backed prime minister hunches over his desk as he recalls his final conversation with Haftar. “There was no sense of anxiety. There was no sign,” Sarraj says. The meeting was meant

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