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Libya grants visa to Swiss chargé d'affaires

Libya has granted a visa to a new Swiss chargé d'affaires, after some weeks' delay, allowing the diplomat to travel to Tripoli to begin his posting.

This content was published on July 14, 2009 - 15:17

The chargé d'affaires will replace Ambassador Daniel von Muralt who retired at the beginning of the year, a Swiss foreign ministry spokesman confirmed.

Since von Muralt's departure the embassy has been staffed by just by one accredited diplomat.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since the detention of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's son and daughter-in-law in Geneva last July on assault charges.

The couple were released after two days and later acquitted of the charges but have since filed a civil lawsuit against the Geneva authorities. Libya quickly took a number of retaliatory measures against Switzerland, including closing Swiss companies and stopping flights to the country.

Two Swiss nationals working in Libya were also arrested and later released but have since been refused permission to leave the North African country.

Bern has yet to receive a response to Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz's offer to travel to Tripoli to meet Gaddafi to find a way out of the current impasse.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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