Kadhafi son discusses rift with Switzerland

30th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss Foreign minister Calmy-Rey met with Seif al-Islam Thursday to resolve dispute.

GENEVA - Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and one of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's sons, Seif al-Islam, met on Thursday to try to resolve a six-month row between their countries, her ministry said.

The 45-minute meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos was the highest level encounter since the argument began over the arrest of another of Kadhafi's sons in a Geneva hotel in July 2008.

A spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry described the talks as "positive" and said they would continue.

He declined to give further details.

A source close to the affair said the two could meet again before the end of the week.

Until now, contacts between Libya and Switzerland were largely confined to diplomats, and the encounter in Davos marked an increasing attempt to resolve the dispute.

Seif was often at the forefront of Libya's return to the international community in recent years, including improved relations with the United States and the European Union.

Hannibal Kadhafi and his wife were arrested after two of their domestic staff said they were beaten and mistreated by the couple.

Hannibal Kadhafi was eventually released and the complaint was dropped. A lawyer for the domestic workers said they received compensation.

But Libya cancelled deliveries of oil in October, withdrew an estimated EUR 5 billion (CHF 7.4 billion) from Swiss banks, briefly detained Swiss company staff in Libya and halted all cooperation between the two countries.

Libya demanded a formal apology from Swiss authorities and sanctions against those who carried out the arrest.

[AFP / Expatica]

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