According to Swiss minister Christa Markwalder, when Khadafy comes to New York Sept. 23, he will ask the UN to dismantle Switzerland and parcel out the land to neighboring France, Germany and Italy.
The UN charter specifically states that no member can threaten the sovereignty of another, so the demand is unlikely to get far. But it’s another sign of tension to come during the eccentric dictator’s visit.
The Libya-Swiss kerfuffle began a year ago, when Khadafy’s trouble-making youngest son, Hannibal, was arrested in a Geneva hotel for beating two servants with a belt and a coat-hanger.
He had previously had run-ins with cops in France and Italy and once was busted for driving drunk on Paris’ Champs-Elysees at 90 mph – the wrong way.
Libya retaliated with fury, recalling some diplomats, withdrawing $5 billion from Swiss banks, shuttering the Tripoli office of Nestle and threatening to cut oil deliveries. Two Swiss businessmen were barred from leaving the country until Libya received an apology for Hannibal’s arrest.
For a year, the issue festered. Two weeks ago, Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz traveled to Tripoli to apologize for the arrest and Libya promised to let the hostages go by Sept. 1.
However, they have yet to be freed. Now Merz is fending off accusations of appeasement and calls for his resignation.
The British government, too, is still in trouble over their own dealings with Libya as more details leak out about closed-door negotiations over releasing the Lockerbie bomber.