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Libyan airline cuts flights to Switzerland

Libya has stepped up its pressure on Switzerland by reducing the flights of its state airline, a spokesman for Geneva airport confirmed on Saturday.

The Friday and Sunday flights of Afriqiyah Airways between Tripoli and Geneva have been cancelled with immediate effect, leaving only one connection a week, on Tuesdays.

However, the spokesman said it was not certain whether Tuesday's flight would take place either.

The French language newspaper Liberté reported on Saturday, quoting a source close to the Libyan foreign ministry, that Libya had ordered the expulsion of all Swiss from its territory, and that Swiss embassy employees had been ordered not to leave their building.

The measures come at the end of a week in which Libya also announced that it was stopping oil supplies to Switzerland and withdrawing its deposits in Swiss banks.

Diplomatic tensions between the two countries started in July following the arrest in Geneva of one of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's sons. He and his wife were accused by two servants of mistreatment. The servants later received compensation and the charges were dropped.

The Swiss foreign ministry said on Friday it had not received any official information from Libya about its current actions, but said efforts were continuing to solve the problems between the two countries.


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