Libya has stopped issuing entry visas to nationals from Europe’s Schengen zone, according to a Libyan airport official. No explanation was given for the suspension, and there was no immediate confirmation from the Libyan government. The official said explicitly that British citizens would have no trouble applying for a visa.
All the EU countries except the UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus are members of the Schengen area, also including Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, these 25 countries having mutually done away with internal border controls.
The Italian government said the Libyan move was in retaliation for Switzerland’s recent entry ban against 180 Libyans. Geneva and Tripoli have been locked in a diplomatic dispute ever since the arrest in Geneva in 2008 of a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on charges — which were later dropped — of assaulting two of his servants, at a luxury hotel in Geneva.
Last year Gaddafi proposed aboloshing Switzerland.