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Swiss name ambassador to new Libyan regime

The Swiss government has appointed an ambassador to the new Libyan government, the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

Michel Gottret will take up his duties in Tripoli “as soon as possible”.

“Clarifications and preparations are currently under way concerning the re-opening of the Swiss embassy in Tripoli, which had to be closed at the beginning of 2011 for security reasons,” the ministry said in a statement.

Gottret, who was born in 1949, entered the foreign ministry in 1979. Since 2007 he has been head of mission in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. In 2002 he was ambassador to Algeria and Mauritania.

Libya’s new ambassador to Switzerland, Sliman Bouchuiguir, presented his credentials to Micheline Calmy-Rey, who holds this year’s rotating Swiss presidency, and the federal chancellor, Corina Casanova, on Thursday.

Libya’s embassy in Bern switched its allegiance from former leader Moammar Gaddafi to the new regime in March.

Also on Thursday, the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council decided to ask the UN General Assembly to reinstate Libya’s council membership, which was suspended in February.

Council members welcomed the assurances of the new Libyan regime that it would protect human rights.

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