Bern, Press release, 18.02.2010

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), today met her Spanish and Libyan counterparts in Madrid. Spain currently holds the presidency of the EU Council of ministers. They discussed the differences between Switzerland and Libya as well as visa issues.

Mrs Calmy-Rey has held a series of talks with high-ranking EU representatives in recent days. On Thursday she met Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and Libyan Foreign Minister Mousa Kousa in Madrid.

Mrs Calmy-Rey said during the talks that in autumn 2009 Switzerland toughened its policy towards Libya after two Swiss nationals had been kidnapped by the Libyan authorities and kept in an unknown location for 52 days. These two Swiss nationals are now in the Swiss embassy in Tripoli again, but they are still not permitted to leave the country. They have been detained in Libya since summer 2008.

"We have been working well", said Mrs Calmy-Rey after the meeting. The talks are continuing.

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