TRIPOLI: Libya’s UN-recognized unity government has dismissed accusations it had promised part of Al-Khoms to its ally Turkiye as a naval base after days of protests in the port city.

“What is being said about the state ceding or authorizing the use of the maritime port of Al-Khoms as a foreign naval base is incorrect and without foundation,” government spokesman Mohamed Hamuda said in a dockside visit, accompanied by top naval and port officials.

His comments followed days of protests in the city 120 km east of Tripoli, during which access roads to the docks have been blocked with burning tires.

Calling on residents to exercise restraint, Hamuda warned that anyone who harmed the public interest would face prosecution.

Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah “attaches great importance” to the port, one of the busiest in Libya, and has plans to expand it to boost foreign trade, the spokesman said.

Libya has seen more than a decade of stop-start conflict since a NATO-backed revolt toppled longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with a myriad of militias forming opposing alliances backed by foreign powers.

Turkiye has been the key supporter of Dbeibah’s Tripoli-based regime which vies for authority with another in the east backed by military leader Khalifa Haftar.

Source : Arab News

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