Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Europe

Switzerland suspends normalisation deal with Libya

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-04

Swiss government spokesman Andre Simonazzi (pictured) announced his country has suspended an agreement struck with Libya over the arrest of one of Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi's sons in Geneva last year.

REUTERS - Switzerland said on Wednesday it has suspended an agreement on normalising relations with Libya because Tripoli has failed to allow two Swiss nationals to leave the country.

The two Swiss citizens have been blocked from leaving Libya since July 2008, days after Swiss police arrested Muammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal and his pregnant wife in Geneva on charges, later dropped, of mistreating two domestic employees.

The arrest prompted Libya to cut oil supplies to Switzerland and withdraw more than $5 billion in assets from Swiss banks.

The two sides had expected to normalise ties after Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz apologised to the Libyan government in August and after they agreed to set up an independent committee to investigate the arrest of Gaddafi's son.

The Swiss government had expected Libya to allow the two Swiss citizens to leave the country.

"Tripoli is refusing to cooperate. The two Swiss citizens are to date still held in an undisclosed location," Swiss government spokesman Andre Simonazzi told a news conference.

"Switzerland has decided to suspend the agreement signed on Aug. 20. The Swiss confederation will also continue to have a restrictive visa policy with regards to Libyan citizens," Simonazzi also said.

Merz has been under pressure at home for failing to secure the release of the two Swiss citizens.

The two men, described as "hostages" in some Swiss media, are Max Goeldi, head of the Swiss-Swedish electrical engineering conglomerate ABB in Tripoli, and a 68-year-old businessman working for a construction company, identified as Rachid H. in Swiss media.

 

Date created : 2009-11-04

COMMENT(S)