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EU and Libya end tit for tat bans on travel visas

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-28

The European Union and Libya say they have lifted bans on travel visas for each others' citizens, easing tensions between the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (pictured) and Switzerland.

AFP - The European Union and Libya said Saturday they have lifted bans on granting visas to each others' citizens, easing a bitter row between the north African nation and Switzerland.

The Spanish presidency of the EU said that all the names of Libyan citizens on the blacklist, which banned them from entering Europe's 25-state Schengen visa zone, had been removed.

"The names of Libyan citizens listed on the Schengen zone (blacklist) have been permanently removed," the EU said in a statement distributed to reporters in Sirte, Libya on the sidelines of an Arab summit.

Soon after, a senior Libyan official told AFP that his country had lifted a ban on issuing visas to Europeans from the Schengen zone.

"Libya welcomes this statement and announced the immediate lifting" of the entry ban for nationals of Schengen member countries, a Libyan official said on condition of anonymity.

Switzerland and Libya have been embroiled in a diplomatic row since July 2008 after the brief arrest in Geneva of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Hannibal when two of his domestic staff complained he had mistreated them.

Date created : 2010-03-27

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