Monday, February 15, 2010

Libya stops issuing visas to Europeans


The French and Italian foreign ministries say Libya has temporarily suspended the issue of visas to the inhabitants of most European countries.

The measure applies to the 25 countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement. This agreement, originally signed in 1985, removes border controls between the participants.

Although Libya has not officially confirmed the measure, observers believe it was prompted by a diplomatic row between Switzerland and Libya in 2009. In July of that year, two Swiss businessmen were arrested in Libya on suspicion of illegal trading practices and breaching visa regulations. The arrests occurred shortly after the son of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested in Switzerland for mistreating personnel in a hotel.

Radio Netherlands

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