Libya to withdraw assets from Swiss banks: report
Saturday, 11 October 2008

AFP, TRIPOLI  - Libya is to withdraw its assets from Swiss banks -- estimated at seven billion dollars -- and will stop delivering oil to Switzerland, the state Jana news agency reported.

Tripoli will "also put an end to all economic cooperation with Switzerland" in protest at the "poor treatment of Libyan diplomats and businessmen by the canton of Geneva," it quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official saying.
 
Libya "has decided to stop crude oil shipments to Switzerland and withdraw Libyan assets from Swiss banks which amount to seven billion dollars."
 
The north African country first threatened to halt oil deliveries after a son of leader Moamar Kadhafi, Hannibal, was arrested in Switzerland in July along with his wife Aline after two servants claimed they had been abused by the couple.
 
The threat was not carried out and Swiss prosecutors closed the case last month after the two servants, a Tunisian woman and a Moroccan man who received compensation from the couple, dropped assault charges.
 
The agency said the Libyan decision would be revoked once the reasons for the treatment of the diplomats and businessmen had been explained.
 
Tripoli wants a formal apology from Bern and has stopped two Swiss nationals from leaving the country in retaliation for Hannibal Kadhafi's arrest.
 
Libyan oil company Tamoil said Wednesday the government had decided to halt oil deliveries to Switzerland.
 
"It is a decision of Libya and not Tamoil," Tamoil CEO Issam Zanati told AFP in a telephone interview.
 
Libya supplies about 2.5 million tonnes of crude oil to Switzerland a year, about 20 percent of the country's total needs.
 
Zanati was unable to say how long the suspension would last or why the decision was taken.
 
A halt in Libyan deliveries would not affect supplies or prices in Switzerland as distributors would have ample time to find other suppliers, the head of the country's oil companies association, Rolf Hartl, has told the Swiss news agency ATS.

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