The United States and five Western nations have called upon forces loyal to a Libyan general to withdraw from three eastern oil terminals seized earlier this week.

The U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain said in a statement Monday that the U.N.-brokered government based in the capital, Tripoli, is the "sole steward of these resources," adding that "Libya's oil belongs to the Libyan people."

Forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter seized control of Ras Lanuf, al-Sidra and Zueitina on Sunday.

Hifter is allied with Libya's internationally recognized parliament, based in the east, which has not approved the U.N.-backed government, in part because of differences over his future role in the country.

The oil-rich North African country slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi.