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Swiss lift sanctions on two Libyan banks

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09:48 CET+01:00

The Swiss government said on Thursday it had lifted sanctions against the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Foreign Bank.

The announcement by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) means previously blocked assets will be unfrozen.

It came after the UN Security Council last week lifted sanctions imposed on Libyan banks during the regime of  Muammar Qaddhafi -- ousted from power by a rebel army in August and later captured and killed -- in order to prevent a liquidity crisis.

An estimated $150 billion of assets were frozen around the world in February after the Security Council ordered the action against Qaddhafi's Libya.

The new Tripoli authorities had called for the release of the money to pay for salaries and key services amidst a growing threat of economic deadlock.

In October, SECO said nearly 265 million Swiss francs ($283 million), 90 percent of which belong to Libyan state enterprises, were still blocked in Switzerland.

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