Interior minister to sport new title

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin will take on a plum appointment after he retires from Swiss politics: observer to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

This content was published on June 29, 2009 - 18:01

Couchepin will represent La Francophonie, the 56-member international organisation of countries that are connected to the French language or to French culture. He retires from Swiss politics in October.

Couchepin replaces Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the former prime minister of France, who represented the group in Beijing, in 2008.

The decision was announced on Monday after Couchepin met Abdou Diouf, La Francophonie's secretary general, in Paris.

In Vancouver, Couchepin will be working with Canadian authorities, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the local organising committee and representatives of La Francophonie member states to promote the French language.

Couchepin will meet IOC head Jacques Rogge on Tuesday and in August will meet Olympic organisers in Vancouver. and agencies

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