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Swiss facilitate Libyan-Tuareg negotiations

The Swiss foreign ministry has organised two meetings in Switzerland between the Libyan National Transitional Council and Tuareg representatives from Niger and Mali.

The talks, which took place on August 6 and 7 and September 21 and 22, dealt with the issue of Moammar Gaddafi’s Tuareg brigades. The Tuareg are a nomadic people in the Sahara region.

Following a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, a foreign ministry spokesman confirmed to the Swiss News Agency that the meetings had taken place at the request of the two parties, but he would not reveal what was discussed.

It is known however that the Transitional Council wishes the Tuareg fighters would distance themselves from Gaddafi. The Tuareg are seeking the release of prisoners of war.

More than a month after sweeping into Tripoli and ending Gaddafi’s nearly 42-year rule, Libyan forces still face fierce resistance from the fugitive leader’s supporters on three fronts –  in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, in the town of Bani Walid southeast of the capital and in pockets in the country’s vast desert south.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR