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Libya negotiations to remain bilateral

Switzerland and Libya will continue negotiations to resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two countries without the assistance of a third-party mediator.

This content was published on July 28, 2008 - 19:37

A spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry on Monday said talks were continuing with the "greatest discretion".

Over the weekend, Swiss President Pascal Couchepin said France and Italy had both formally offered to help resolve the crisis, which began with the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal in Geneva on July 15.

Two Swiss citizens are being held in Libyan custody on immigration violations but consular officials in Tripoli have thus far been unable to visit, Jeannerat said. Both were arrested on Saturday one week ago.

While they are described as being tired, both are mentally and physically not in a worrying state, according to the foreign ministry.

They have been brought to another prison with slightly improved conditions, but remain in a shared cell, the spokesman added. He called it a "slightly encouraging signal".

Libya has demanded Switzerland apologise for arresting Hannibal Gaddafi, and the country's shipping company announced an oil boycott last week.

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