Swiss neutrality does not mean "indifference"

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey says permission for foreign aircraft to fly over Swiss air space on possible missions in Libya is not contrary to Swiss neutrality.

This content was published on March 27, 2011 minutes and agencies

She said in an interview with the SonntagsBlick newspaper that such flights did not indicate Switzerland was taking sides in the conflict.

Calmy-Rey explained that neutrality meant that Switzerland could not take part in a war between states. However, the United Nations Security Council could not be considered a party to the conflict.

She added that the Security Council had been mandated by the international community to maintain peace, adding that neutrality did not mean “indifference”.

Switzerland on Wednesday said it acknowledged “the resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council, which provides for a no-fly zone over Libya and other measures, and hopes that rapid implementation of the UN resolution will bring an end to the suffering of the defenceless civilian population in Libya”.

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