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7. February 2013.

Bujanovac, Presevo – The Swiss Ambassador to Serbia, Jean Daniel Ruch, met yesterday with representatives of local authorities in Bujanovac and Presevo. He talked with them about the economic development of South Serbia and said that Switzerland was keen on continuing to invest in the region. The Swiss Ambassador said that a continued dialogue with the Serbian government, with the assistance of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was needed for solving the problems in South Serbia.  

"This region should count on the assistance provided by Switzerland. There are around 11, 000 people from this region who live and work in Switzerland and who contribute to the prosperity of that country, as well as to the development of South Serbia", said Ambassador Ruch at a press- conference after the meeting with the Mayor of Bujanovac, Nagip Arifi.

The Swiss diplomat pointed out that he had talked with the mayor of Bujanovac about economic development that was essential to that part of Serbia, because it had an impact on the regional political stability.

"Together with our EU partners, we assist with development of the region", said the Swiss Ambassador. He noted that, within the framework of the European Partnership with Municipalities (PROGRESS), his country had invested 2.7 million Swiss francs that year alone.  

Mr. Arifi said that Switzerland would continue to support the Peace- building and Inclusive Local Development (PBILD) and PROGRESS programs.

"We are, today, going to have a meeting with PBILD representatives, in which Switzerland will participate,  which is aimed at employing 40 workers", Mr. Arifi said. 

After Bujanovac, the Swiss Ambassador visited Presevo, too, where he talked with the Mayor of Presevo Ragmi Mustafa and Deputy Mayor Skender Destani.

Source: Tanjug News Agency