Libya, Swiss 'to sign deal' for ending row

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey arrived in the Libyan capital for talks early on Sunday

Libya, Swiss 'to sign deal' for ending row

Libya and Switzerland will soon sign a memorandum of understanding to resolve their long-running diplomatic dispute, a source in the Libyan Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey arrived in the Libyan capital for talks early on Sunday and is expected to make a statement to reporters shortly, the source, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

Libyan officials said the Swiss minister flew into Tripoli in the early hours of Sunday morning together with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

The arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi angered Libya, prompting it to stop oil exports to Switzerland and withdraw assets from Swiss banks.

Libya briefly barred entry to citizens of most European countries in retaliation for a Swiss travel ban on senior Libyans, including members of the Gaddafi family.

Tripoli also warned U.S. energy companies operating in Libya their interests could be hurt after a U.S. official made disparaging remarks about Gaddafi's stance on Switzerland. The U.S. official later apologised.

Return of Swiss businessman?


Max Goeldi, a Swiss businessman whose detention in Libya, has been at the centre of the dispute.

Goeldi was released from a Libyan prison last week after serving a four month sentence for violating Libyan immigration rules, but is still awaiting clearance to leave the country.

It was not immediately clear if the memorandum of understanding included an agreement that Goeldi, who works for engineering firm ABB, could go home.

Goeldi has been barred from leaving Libya since July 2008, days after Swiss police arrested a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on charges, later dropped, of abusing two domestic employees. Libyan officials deny any link between the two cases.



Reuters

Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2010, 17:16
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