Switzerland appeals for the protection of civilians in Libya

Bern, Press release, 22.08.2011

Switzerland has taken note of the current situation in Libya and is closely following the developments in Tripoli. It calls on all parties to exercise restraint, to respect their obligations with regard to international law, and to take all necessary precautions to ensure the best possible protection of the civilian population. It calls on the Gaddafi regime to relinquish power immediately in order to avoid further suffering for the civilian population.

Switzerland expresses its deep sympathies with the families and friends of the victims of the hostilities of the last few months in Libya.  

It has also taken note of the arrest of Saïf al-Islam Gaddafi, and calls on the Libyans responsible to ensure that all those guilty of crimes in the context of the conflict are brought to justice. 

Switzerland was one of the first countries to open (in mid-March 2011) a humanitarian aid office in Benghazi in order to help alleviate the suffering of the Libyan people. This commitment will be maintained. In the period until a legitimate government is elected, the National Transitional Council (NTC) remains Switzerland’s sole political interlocutor in Libya. Switzerland has opened a liaison office in Benghazi with the aim of intensifying political relations with the NTC. It intends to reopen its Embassy in Tripoli as soon as possible.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs