April 15, 2011 / 7:03 PM / 7 years ago

Swiss set to drop sanctions on ex-Libya minister

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland is set to remove former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa from its sanctions list, a government spokeswoman said on Friday, following a similar move by the European Union.

In a move by the West to encourage more defections from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the EU has lifted a freeze on the assets of Koussa, who fled to Britain on March 30. The United States lifted sanctions against him on April 4.

“The Swiss sanctions list will be adapted analogously to that of the EU,” Antje Baertschi, spokeswoman for the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) told Reuters. The SECO oversees the sanctions list.

Switzerland has sought to improve its image as a haven for ill-gotten assets and in February froze assets of 29 Libyans linked to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Relations between Switzerland and Libya have been poor in recent years after Geneva police arrested one of Gaddafi’s sons on charges -- later dropped -- of abusing two domestic employees. Libya withdrew millions of dollars from Swiss banks, halted oil exports to Switzerland and barred two Swiss businessmen working in Libya from leaving the country.

Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton

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