Qaddafi calls for jihad against Switzerland: Is it funny?
Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi called for jihad against Switzerland, the latest in a tit-for-tat dispute dating back to the 2008 arrest of one of Qaddafi's sons. Some find humor in the latest from the dictator.
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Libya retaliated by canceling oil supplies, withdrawing billions of dollars from Swiss banks, refusing visas to Swiss citizens and recalling some of its diplomats.Skip to next paragraph
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In the same month that the Qaddafis were arrested, Libyan authorities detained two Swiss businessmen, in what analysts believe was a retaliatory move.
Switzerland then banned 188 high-level Libyans, reportedly including Qaddafi, from entering the country; Libya in turn halted visas for citizens from several European nations.
Qaddafi's remarks come just as some European diplomats were privately expressing optimism. Swissinfo.ch, a Swiss news website, on Thursday reported anonymous diplomats saying that a jailed Swiss businessman in Tripoli may be released before the end of his four-month sentence.
The diplomat said that attempts to mediate between Switzerland and Libya "are beginning to bear fruit."
The commentator said Switzerland had dragged other European countries into the bilateral dispute, since Libyans on Switzerland's blacklist cannot apply for a so-called "Schengen" visa, which can be used to enter 25 European countries.
The Swiss action means that no Schengen country, can issue full Schengen visas to the Libyans on the blacklist.
By doing so, the government of Switzerland dragged the whole of the EU countries into unnecessary dispute with an ever friendly Libya where these Europeans are finding ample business opportunities.
... Surely I can’t be alone in finding Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi’s declaration of war on Switzerland ... well, I’m sorry, it’s just very, very funny. Perhaps it’s because he’s calling for jihad against the land-locked and famously neutral Swiss. Perhaps it’s the vision of trainee terrorists in Afghanistan making timing-devices with cuckoo clocks. Maybe it’s the thought that explosives could be concealed in the holes in Emmantal cheese.