Ljubljana, 28 November (STA) - Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey
said her country supports the formal independence of Kosovo as she
addressed a press conference in Ljubljana on Monday.
Speaking after meeting Slovenian counterpart Dimitrij Rupel, Calmy-Rey
said that Kosovo's lack of status is cause for many problems, both
political and economic.
Switzerland would like to see Kosovo's status settled first and then its
implementation of standards checked instead of the other way around, she
Kosovo is a very important issue for Switzerland, Calmy-Rey said, adding
that Switzerland is home to 10% of immigrants from Kosovo.
Solving Kosovo's status could resolve many issues, including those of
doing business and investing in the province, she added.
The question of standards is important, although it can be dealt with
after that of Kosovo's status, she said.
Rupel said that he and Calmy-Rey talked about the situation in Western
Balkans in general and that they did not discuss Slovenian President Janez
Drnovsek's nine-point Kosovo status plan at today's meeting.
Yet they agreed that the unresolved status of Kosovo is a potential source
of instability in Southeast Europe, and that the negotiating process should
be broadly supported by the entire international community.
Rupel and Calmy-Rey also discussed bilateral cooperation, with Rupel
thanking Switzerland for its donations to the Slovenia-run International
Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF).
Additionally, Calmy-Rey stressed the importance of the bilateral agreement
on the protection of mutual investments, as Switzerland is the second
largest source of foreign direct investment in Slovenia.