Friday, March 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) – “Switzerland and Bosnia have extraordinary political relations, followed with a quality dialogue at a high level. Switzerland holds perseverance of integrity and territorial sovereignty of Bosnia extremely important”, the Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj stated yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo at a press conference, after a meeting with Swiss foreign Affairs Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

Switzerland has so far helped Bosnia with over 330 million Swiss Franks, which is the biggest contribution this country has ever provided for a country in transition, Alkalaj said and added that the multiethnic and multicultural character of Bosnia is one think which makes Bosnia close to Switzerland.

However, economic cooperation falls significantly behind the political relations. Alkalaj stated that the issue will be solved by forums and presentations of the Bosnian economy to Swiss entrepreneurs. Level of trade exchange will also be improved.

The Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Calmy-Rey also stated that relations between the two countries are excellent and that the Bosnian community (about 40.00 people) living in Switzerland greatly contributes improvement of the relations.

She emphasized that cooperation between the two countries’ civic societies is good, especially in the period of overcoming the war consequences.

Calmy-Rey confirmed to her Bosnian colleague that Bosnia will remain one of the priorities of the Swiss cooperation programs and added that her country is dedicated to long-term stability of Bosnia and that it will keep supporting the EUFOR and EUPM. She added that Switzerland will also provide help in constitutional reforms, EOD activities, ecology, etc.

Switzerland will keep supporting the judiciary reform in Bosnia and that it wants to see war criminals face justice, so that peace and stability are insured.

Calmy-Rey stated that Switzerland is of the opinion that regional cooperation is very important for development of the southeastern European region and in that context, Switzerland holds the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) very important, as well as the fact that the Bosnian capital Sarajevo has been elected the RCC HQs.

Switzerland is one of the countries which have recognized Kosovo. Calmy-Rey stated that Kosovo is a unique case and that no parallels can be made between Kosovo and any other part of the region or the world.

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