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Europe urges Swiss to end Libya dispute

The European Commission (EC) has called on Switzerland to act quickly to resolve a visa dispute with Libya that has ensnared countries in Europe’s Schengen zone.

The EC’s commissioner for internal affairs, Cecilia Malmström, met Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf on Wednesday in discuss the issue.

Malmström’s spokesman said the dispute could “harm the coherence of the Schengen system” and both sides had been asked to make an effort.

The EC also condemned Libya’s decision to suspend visas to citizens of Schengen zone countries, describing it as a “unilateral and disproportionate” measure.

Libya introduced the visa measure in February in retaliation for Switzerland barring entry to senior Libyans including leader Moammar Gaddafi and members of his family.

The two countries have been at loggerheads since the arrest of one of Gaddafi’s sons in Geneva in 2008 for allegedly abusing his staff in a hotel. The charges were dropped after the staff were compensated.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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