Following Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s highly-publicized call for jihad on Switzerland, there has been tense relationships between the nation of Libya and other European nations causing a few certain countries to be nervous about their investments in Libyan oil. Switzerland further escalated this by proposing the initial European ban on visas from Libya which made al-Qaddafi even more indignant. So Spain, the current Country-President of the European Union sent in the cavalry.
Most of the issue was defused by Spain’s foreign affairs minister Miguel Angel Moratinos who was sent to Libya in order to bring about a resolution between the North African state and its Western counterparts. After the meeting, the European Union lifted the bans on visas on Libya’s citizens which in return, Libya lifted its own visa ban on twenty five European countries. After these actions, JANA (a Libyan news agency) declared on Saturday through Libya’s Foreign Ministry that “Switzerland has been defeated!” oh and of course they mentioned appreciation of the European Union’s actions.
This diplomatic dispute between the long neutral country of Switzerland and Libya takes its roots in July, 2008 when al-Qaddafi’s family, particularly his son was detained for mistreating their servants in Switzerland. al-Qaddafi with a grudge withdrew billions of dollars from Swiss banks and stalled oil shipments to the country. The Libyan leader acted further after the more recent dispute back in February saying he did all this because of Switzerland’s “anti-Islamic, shameful ban on minarets”.
Libya had arrested two Swiss businessmen charging them with visa violation and tax evasion while acting colder to Switzerland and the United Nation’s condemnation of the arrests as a “political revenge”. One of the businessmen Rachid Hamdani was released however, Max Göldi is still imprisoned making it look like oil interests are more important than a single human. Libya seems to have had no backlash following its leader’s rash call for jihad except for a mere and temporairly ‘slap on the wrist’ due to its resources of oil.
Diplomatic relationships between Switzerland and Libya still remain to be tense.
Contributed By: Gerald Lucee