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Switzerland to speak for Yugoslavia at IMF

Adolf Ogi (right) made the offer when he met Vojislav Kostunica in Geneva in October Keystone

Switzerland is to represent Yugoslavia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

The finance ministry said on Friday that Yugoslavia would join a group of countries which Switzerland represents at the IMF and World Bank, following an offer made by the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi.

The ministry added that Belgrade would receive technical and financial support from Switzerland in its efforts to become a fully-fledged member of the Bretton Woods institutions.

Ogi made the offer to the Yugoslav president, Vojislav Kostunica, during a brief stopover in Geneva in October.

The Yugoslav parliament this week accepted the Swiss proposal, which includes representation at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Neutral Switzerland was one of only a handful of Western countries to maintain ties with Belgrade throughout the conflict with Nato in 1999. Together with Russia and Greece, Switzerland organised an operation to bring humanitarian aid to people affected by the fighting in Serbia and Kosovo.

Switzerland also represents the central Asian republics of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan at the Bretton Woods institutions.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR