Libya-bound flights allowed in Swiss airspace

Foreign military forces will be given permission to overfly Switzerland on their way to missions in Libya, the government has announced.

This content was published on March 23, 2011 - 14:45

The government spokesman told journalists on Wednesday that the Federal Civil Aviation Office had been empowered to allow overflights as long as they are part of the United Nations resolution adopted on March 17, which provides for a no-fly zone over Libya.

A convoy of 20 British military vehicles along with personnel and aircraft maintenance equipment has already crossed through Switzerland on the basis of the same resolution. It drove from Basel in the north-west to Chiasso on the Italian border on Monday, escorted by a Swiss armed orces security unit.

A government statement pointed out that, as a member of the UN, “Switzerland is obliged to implement sanctions decided by the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter”.

“The transit of the convoy is compatible with Swiss Neutrality Law. The Federal Council approved it on the basis of resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council on the protection of the Libyan civilian population,” the statement said.

The resolution called for an immediate cease-fire and empowered the international community to take "all necessary measures" to protect the civilian population and establish a no-fly zone over Libya.

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