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Reason behind Libya’s Deteriorating Diplomatic Relations with Switzerland Revealed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Libyan Foreign Ministry has revealed for the first time that Libya’s recent tough stance on finding a legal settlement to the current crisis with Switzerland is due to the fact that the Swiss authorities leaked to Swiss newspapers photos of the arrest of Hannibal al-Qadhafi, one of the sons of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi. In addition, members of the Swish parliament have publicly threatened to use force against Libya because of its insistence on bringing to court two Swiss businessmen on charges of violation of Libyan residence and labor laws.

Asharq Al-Awsat has received a copy of a memorandum explaining the Libyan stand on this crisis. In this memorandum, which the Libyan Foreign Ministry sent to the Swiss Foreign Ministry, Colonel Al-Qadhafi demanded explanation of the unjustified and unfair treatment that his son, Hannibal, his wife, and infant, had received in Geneva last year, a treatment which he said befit terrorists and drug traffickers. According to the text of the memorandum, the Libyan leader declared in his capacity as a father that he did not object to the implementation of the law on his son if he committed a crime, but he wondered about the justifications for the inappropriate treatment to which his son was exposed for no reason. The memorandum pointed out that Hannibal al-Qadhafhi arrived in Switzerland holding a diplomatic passport and that Tripoli had officially notified Bern of the time of his arrival. This is the first official Libyan denial of allegations by the Swiss authorities that they did not know the identity of Al-Qadhafi’s son or that he was carrying a diplomatic passport.