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Deiss affirms Swiss commitment to Tanzania

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has pledged to maintain Swiss support for Tanzania, during a visit to Berne by his Tanzanian counterpart, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. The east African country is a major recipient of Swiss development aid.

Deiss had encouraging words for his Tanzanian counterpart at their meeting in Berne. He described Tanzania as "a haven of peace and stability", and said there were no bilateral problems between the two countries.

He said Switzerland would continue to work closely with Tanzania to promote peace in the region, and to try and resolve the ongoing conflicts among Tanzania's neighbours, notably in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Switzerland has for some time supported the Arusha process, designed to forge a lasting peace between Burundi and Congo.

Tanzania is a major recipient of Swiss development aid. Every year, Berne invests some SFr20 million in Tanzanian projects that foster public health, improve infrastructure and assist small- and medium-sized businesses.

Swiss development aid has most recently included an initiative with the Bretton Woods institutions, enabling Tanzania to write-off or reschedule debts.

swissinfo with agencies

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