The Swiss government has suspended a deal with Libya to repair damaged relations until two Swiss citizens held in the Arab country are allowed home.

The decision was made Wednesday after repeated efforts by Switzerland to secure the release of two businessmen held by Libya at an unknown location.

Libya has prevented the men from leaving for over a year in apparent retaliation for the 2008 arrest in Geneva of leader Moammar Gadhafi's son for allegedly beating up his servants.

The Swiss parliament says the Swiss men are "hostages."

A Swiss newspaper says Hannibal Gadhafi wants $50 million in exchange for their release.

Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz apologized to Libya in August for the arrest and opened the door to possible compensation.