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Swiss President praises Lebanese President's efforts
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15:39, October 04, 2008

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Swiss President Pascal Couchepin, who arrived in Beirut Friday for a three-day official visit, praised the efforts of Lebanese president Michel Suleiman in building a peaceful and tolerant Lebanon, local Naharnet website reported Saturday.

Addressing a news conference with his counterpart Michel Suleiman in Beirut, visiting Couchepin said his talks with the Lebanese leader took up bilateral relations and means of promoting them.

Chouchepin said at the presidential palace that his country supports Lebanese "national dialogue and the election law that has been ratified."

He added that "the more the situation improves in Lebanon, the more the chances of Swiss investments increase." Couchepin expressed solidarity with Lebanese national reconciliation efforts led by Suleiman.

Switzerland has donated 14 million U.S. dollars of humanitarian aid to Lebanon since 2006 and the country promised to help in landmine clearance in south Lebanon.

Asked if the Swiss political model can be applied in Lebanon, he said "No model can be applied to all counties and there is no majority or minority in Switzerland."

The meeting also touched on the conditions in the Middle East, the Swiss president added. On the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, he said that "the presence of Palestinians in Lebanon is a complicated problem, a just and comprehensive solution must be found, and Switzerland is ready to help."

He called on parties concerned to coordinate efforts to bring the issue to an end, underscoring the importance of seeking a practical solution in this regard.

This was the first visit of a Swiss leader to Lebanon, however, the Swiss model has been seen as convenient to apply to Lebanon due to the similarity of having various factions in the same country.

Source: Xinhua

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