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Sino-Swiss relations under threat

China's foreign ministry says Switzerland's decision to accept two Uighurs released from Guantanamo will hurt Sino-Swiss relations.

A ministry spokesman said the seven Uighurs held at the United States prison in Guantanamo, including the brothers to be resettled in Switzerland, were members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council.

"All countries must adhere to UN Charter Chapter Seven and reject providing asylum to those who fund, plan, commit or abet a terrorist act," said spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.

Ma added that China had expressed its opposition during recent talks over a free trade pact with Switzerland.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced on Wednesday that Switzerland would take in Bahtiyar and Arkin Mahnut. She said they did not constitute a security risk and that accepting them was part of Switzerland’s humanitarian mission.

Although the two men were originally suspected of membership of the ETIM, the US authorities cleared them several years ago.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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