Libya withdraws assets from Swiss banks in continuing diplomatic crisis
Libya has withdrawn most of its assets from Swiss bank accounts in a continuing diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the official Swissinfo.ch news website reported Sunday, according to Xinhua.
The north African country has pulled out 5.6 billion Swiss francs (about 5.2 billion U.S. dollars) of its 5.75 billion Swiss francs deposited in Swiss banks, according to latest statistics released by the Swiss National Bank.
Relations between the two countries have been strained since one of the sons of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested in Geneva last July, charged with assaulting two domestic employees, Swissinfo said.
Charges against Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were later dropped, but Libya has been restricting Swiss business activities in the country.
Two Swiss businessmen have also been detained in Libya. They are not allowed to leave the country.
Libya is also blocking the arrival of a new charge d'affaire in Tripoli to replace the Swiss ambassador who retired earlier this year.
Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz is seeking a meeting with the Libyan leader in an effort to solve the standoff.