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Crisis talks in Libya yield little progress

The latest round of talks aimed at mending strained bilateral relations between Switzerland and Libya appear to have made little progress.

A senior foreign ministry official said the negotiations had been difficult, but dialogue would continue at an unspecified date.

He dismissed speculation that Switzerland was considering retaliatory measures if Libya remained in breach of an investment protection accord.

A diplomatic delegation travelled to Tripoli last week trying to defuse tensions over the temporary detention of a son of the Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi, in Geneva last July after complaints of mistreatment made by household staff.

Libya has demanded an apology for the arrest and imposed economic measures against Switzerland, including closing Swiss companies and stopping flights to Libya.

It has also refused two Swiss nationals permission to leave the north African country.

The Swiss authorities have ruled out an apology and stressed they acted with the law. However, a legal expert found that Geneva police used excessive means during the arrest of Hannibal Gaddafi.

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