Swiss authorities have maintained efforts to help Kosovo develop stronger institutions and infrastructure with a SFr15 million ($15.5 million) annual package.
Above all, the new Balkan state needs an improved water supply, the Swiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Other goals include fostering private business, improving vocational training and bolstering the rule of law.
“The aim of the cooperation is to promote political, economic and social reforms,” the ministry said. Assistance is largely carried out through groups like the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).
The agreement signed in Pristina by Swiss ambassador Lukas Beglinger and Kosovo Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni replaces an earlier agreement made in 2000 with an interim United Nations administration.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, and Switzerland recognised it ten days later. The Swiss defence ministry announced in August that a Swiss peacekeeping infantry division stationed in the country would be reduced from 150 soldiers to 50, while liaison staff and monitoring teams would be increased.
swissinfo.ch and agencies