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Swiss delegation arrives in Libya

A Swiss delegation has arrived in Libya in the latest bid to mend relations between the two countries, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

This content was published on January 21, 2009 - 21:22

The Swiss have given no details about the delegation, except to say that it is made up of a number of diplomats. It is scheduled to remain in Libya until Thursday.

Swiss-Libyan relations have been strained since July, when one of Moammar Gaddafi's sons, Hannibal, and Hannibal's wife were arrested by Geneva police over complaints of mistreatment made by two of their staff while at a hotel in the city.

Charges against them were dropped in September after the servants withdrew their complaint, having reached a financial arrangement with Hannibal. But Libya has demanded an apology for the arrest and has taken economic measures against Switzerland, as well as detaining Swiss nationals in Libya.

A Swiss legal expert who co-chaired a joint commission investigating the circumstances of the arrest found in December that the Geneva police had used "excessive" means. However, the Geneva authorities have repeated that they will not apologise, and stressed that that they acted within the law.

Switzerland has been making diplomatic efforts to solve the problem from the beginning, but no details have emerged.

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