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Cabinet to boost security staff at Swiss embassies

Cabinet decided to send experts to secure the Swiss embassy to Cairo Keystone

Parliament has given the go-ahead for up to three unarmed civilian security staff to protect Swiss embassies in fragile states around the world. The mandate is limited to the end of 2016.

The House of Representatives on Thursday confirmed a decision by the Senate last week. It allows the government to decide on such a measure without preliminary approval by parliament over the next few years.

As part of a legal reform to come into force in 2017, the cabinet hopes to be granted the right for dispatching military personnel.

In February, the cabinet agreed to send one expert to the Swiss embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, for up to 12 months.

The defence ministry says the task of security staff is advise embassy personnel and examine specific situations on the ground.

Last year, parliament extended a mandate for up to 20 elite soldiers of the Swiss Army to protect the Swiss embassy to Libya. The commando had been stationed in Tripoli since the beginning of 2012 and replaced a private security firm.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR