The US state department has apologised for comments made about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s call for jihad against Switzerland.
Department spokesman PJ Crowley, who made the dismissive comments, said they did not reflect US policy and were not intended to offend.
Col Gaddafi had criticised a Swiss vote against the building of minarets and urged Muslims to boycott the country.
Mr Crowley described it as “lots of words, not necessarily a lot of sense.”
Libya and Switzerland are embroiled in a long-running diplomatic row.
“I regret that my comments have become an obstacle to further progress in our bilateral relationship,” Mr Crowley said.
Last week, Libya’s National Oil Corporation warned US oil firms of possible “repercussions” over Mr Crowley’s reaction.