Temporary closure of the Swiss Embassy in Libya
Bern, 31.07.2014 - The Embassy of Switzerland, in Tripoli, Libya, has been closed temporarily for reasons of security, effective 31 July 2014. All Swiss staff, including the army detachment deployed for the protection of the embassy, has departed from Libya. Diplomatic relations with Libya will continue to be conducted out of Bern. Because of the highly unstable security situation in Libya, on 27 July, the FDFA issued a travel advisory, recommending that Swiss citizens in Libya temporarily leave the country.
The premises of the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli have been temporarily closed. The Swiss members of the embassy staff, including an army detachment deployed locally, left Libya at midday on 31 July, on board a plane chartered by the Czech Republic for its embassy staff. Switzerland's diplomatic representatives and military staff arrived in Prague in the early evening and will be returning to Switzerland as soon as possible. The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, expresses his thanks to the Czech authorities and, in particular, to the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lubomir Zaorálek, with whom he was in direct contact.
Diplomatic relations with Libya will be conducted from Bern, for the time being. The Swiss Ambassador to Libya will continue to perform his functions out of the FDFA's main office.
Some 80 Swiss nationals live in Libya, the great majority of whom holds double nationality and has close links with that country. Since the intensification of the crisis, the Swiss nationals have been contacted over various channels of communication and on repeated occasions by the embassy with regard to crisis preparations. They were advised to apply, if necessary, for the renewal of their travel documents, to submit ahead of time any visa applications that may be required for members of their families, and to complete any other consular formalities that may be called for.
Because of the highly unstable security situation in Libya, the FDFA issued this past Sunday, 27 July, a travel advisory recommending that Swiss citizens in Libya temporarily leave the country by their own means. This is only a recommendation. The final decision on whether to leave Libya is for each person to make individually. Thus far, according to the information available to the embassy, roughly one half of the Swiss nationals have decided to temporarily leave the country. Advice for travellers to Libya may be found at the link given below.
Notice of the temporary closure of the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli, and the transfer of its consular services to the Swiss Embassy in Tunis, was communicated to registered Swiss nationals in Libya. In case of need, they may contact the Swiss Embassy in Tunis (Tel.: +216 71 191 997, firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the FDFA Helpline (Tel.: +41 800 24 7 365; email@example.com).
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