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Libya accuses Bern of dragging feet on wounded

An employee at the Libyan embassy in Bern has accused the Swiss government of failing to live up to a commitment to treat around 100 war wounded in Swiss hospitals.

This content was published on December 30, 2011 - 17:50
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The Libyan embassy official, Abdullah Besher, told Swiss public radio only ten patients were brought to Switzerland.

He said most of the other 90 were transported to France, Germany, Denmark and Italy for medical treatment. Unlike Switzerland, these countries were quick to send planes and doctors to Libya and issued visas to the wounded on the same day.

The university hospitals in Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne had agreed to take the Libyan patients and told the embassy they were willing to take a new group of around 65 people.

The Libyan government says it will cover all costs. A spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry told the radio that Switzerland was prepared to provide a “certain guarantee” if Libya was unable to foot the bill.

Asked for more details by swissinfo.ch, the foreign ministry said that it could not confirm that there were in fact 100 injured patients due to receive treatment in Switzerland.

What it did say was that governmental humanitarian workers had carefully selected 31 patients to bring to various Swiss hospitals.

It also pointed out that the Swiss authorities were arranging visas for these patients.

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