Copy of 2020-06-11T164704Z_132579486_RC247H9TKZBJ_RTRMADP_3_LIBYA-SECURITY-1592232183382
Libyan policemen walk near a damaged car during a security deployment in Tarhouna city, Libya June 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny Image Credit: REUTERS

Ankara: Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based government are discussing possible Turkish use of two military bases in the North African country, a Turkish source said on Monday, teeing up a lasting Turkish presence in the south Mediterranean.

No final decisions have been made over possible Turkish military use of the Misrata naval base and the Al Watiya air base, which was recently recaptured by the Turkey-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The GNA has driven back Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) in recent weeks and recaptured several positions.

Last week, Turkey said it could expand its cooperation in Libya with new energy and construction deals once the conflict ends.

“Turkey using Al Watiya ... is on the agenda,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It could also be possible for the Misrata naval base to be used by Turkey.”

This came as France on Sunday slammed Turkey’s “aggressive” intervention in the Libya conflict as unacceptable, accusing its fellow Nato member of violating a UN arms embargo and sending half a dozen ships to the war-torn country’s coast.