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Swiss soldiers to guard Tripoli embassy

Swiss soldiers will be dispatched to Tripoli in January, charged with ensuring security for the Swiss Embassy and its staff in 2012.

The Swiss Embassy in Tripoli was reopened in October, just a few days before Libya’s former leader Moammar Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces. When opened, a private security company was contracted to provide security for the embassy. The contract expires in January.

“It was necessary to open the embassy as rapidly as possible in order to safeguard Switzerland’s interests in Libya and to normalise relations with this country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

“For this reason, as an initial measure, a private company already present in Tripoli and familiar with the special situation there was awarded the contract to provide security in the short term.”

The government had made the decision to send a detachment of the Swiss Armed Forces to carry out the task in place of the private security guards, the foreign ministry said, without specifying when the soldiers would commence their new role.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR