Swiss offer to help Libya disarm and demine

Switzerland can help Libya to disarm its population following its armed revolution, as well as contribute to demining efforts, Swiss president Micheline Calmy-Rey said Saturday.

In an interview with newspaper Sonntag, Calmy-Rey also expressed hopes that some 265 million francs ($300 million) worth of blocked Libyan assets could soon be released.

“Certainly we hope that the 265 million francs that are still in Switzerland can soon be released.

“Around 90 percent of them belong to Libyan state firms. We believe that the UN Security Council will make a decision about releasing these state funds relatively soon,” she said.

Calmy-Rey also outlined several ways in which Switzerland could help Libya in its transition to democracy.

“I can imagine Switzerland engaging in three concrete areas during the transition phase: in disarming the population, in reforming the security forces as well as in demining.”

“Our security centres in Geneva have the relevant expertise. Switzerland is also ready to participate in a UN mission,” she added.

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