Spanish, Swiss ministers to travel to Tripoli: source

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The Spanish and Swiss foreign ministers are to travel to Tripoli together later Saturday in connection with the diplomatic row between Libya and Switzerland, a Spanish foreign ministry source said.

He said Spain's Miguel Angel Moratinos and his Swiss counterpart, Micheline Calmy-Rey, will leave from the Torrejon military air base outside Madrid for the Libyan capital.

"The idea is that ... the Swiss minister and minister Moratinos will travel together to Tripoli," the source said.

The Swiss foreign ministry and an official Libyan source earlier also said the two were expected in Tripoli later Saturday to discuss the return home of Swiss businessman Max Goeldi, freed two days ago after four months in a Libyan jail for visa offences.

His lawyer told AFP in Libya that Goeldi has been given his passport and will be given permission to leave Libya on Sunday.

Goeldi has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Libya and Switzerland, ignited after the brief arrest in Geneva of a son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in July 2008.

Goeldi was detained after Hannibal Kadhafi and his pregnant wife were held by Swiss police following allegations by two of their domestic staff that they had been mistreated by the couple at a Geneva hotel.

Swiss media reports said that after releasing Goeldi from jail as a goodwill gesture, Libya is demanding a written agreement for a court inquiry to investigate the circumstances of Hannibal's arrest.

Switzerland's Le Matin newspaper said that the agreement had been negotiated with Spanish mediation, and that it was a condition for Goeldi's exit from Libya.

© 2010 AFP

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