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Swiss to unlock $420 million for Libya rebels

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09:05 CEST+02:00

Switzerland said on Thursday it wanted to unlock $420 million (€294 million) in frozen Libyan assets to assist the country's new interim government.

Speaking at the international Friends of Libya conference hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said her country had asked the UN's sanctions committee to unfreeze the funds.  

She pleaded for a "restitution of all frozen assets as part of the international sanctions, for the benefit of the Libyan people and as soon as possible."  

Switzerland had frozen €570 million of Libyan assets since February.  

Sarkozy announced that $15 billion were unfrozen to help the rebel National Transitional Council rebuild the country after toppling Muammar Qaddafi's regime.

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