Libyan minister greenlights possible US military bases

AA Photo

The interior minister of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said Saturday the government would not set obstacles for the U.S. if it sought to establish military bases in the country.

According to a report by Al-Ahrar TV, Fathi Bashagha told Bloomberg News that Russia was in war-weary Libya for its strategic interests in Africa, not for renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, who has been leading self-style military forces against the GNA.

Bashagha said the GNA would not raise any difficulties for the Pentagon concerning the establishment of a base, and it would contribute to ensuring stability in Libya.

Armed elements affiliated with Haftar struck Tripoli Port Feb. 18, killing three civilians and wounding five others. The GNA pulled out of Geneva talks to secure lasting peace and said it halted all political and military negotiations with Haftar.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Libya's legitimate government has been under attack by Haftar's forces since last April, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in violence.

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