Under the supervision of the Tripoli-based Libyan Prime Minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, the Minister of Transport, Mohamed Al-Shahoubi, and the Chief of the General Staff of the (western-based) Libyan Army, Lieutenant General Mohamed Al-Haddad, signed an agreement to allocate an area of the Al-Khoms Naval Base, to Al-Khoms commercial port. The ceded area is estimated at 4.7 hectares, including berths 11 and 12.
Aldabaiba refutes leasing Khoms Naval Base to Turkey
Following the signing of the agreement, Aldabaiba refuted the news circulating about leasing the port of Al-Khoms to Turkey, stressing that the government would not give up an inch of Libyan land.
Speaking after the signing ceremony in reaction to these media reports, Aldabaiba said ‘‘I say to Libyans that we will not give up one inch of Libyan land, and we hope that we will not pay attention to confusion and misleading news.”
On 17 August Aldabaiba’s Spokesman had already denied these media reports. There were some demonstrations in Khoms in reaction to the news of the possible leasing of the naval base to Turkey.
Social media reports included video images purporting to show Turkish Naval ships docked in Khoms port. The Libyan media storm had been ignited by a media report in Turkey by a news agency allegedly closely linked to the Turkish government.
Continuing to explain, Aldabaiba added ”The port is a Libyan military base, part of which was previously used as a civilian port under the Ministry of Transport. The part separating the commercial and military port was used illegally, and according to the agreement today, this area will be organized and allocated to the commercial port with its legal and administrative controls.
The military base belongs to the Libyan General Staff and Navy, and the people there are Libyans under the Libyan authorities.
The Ministry of Transport is working on developing its commercial port, and work is continuing as usual.’’, he concluded.