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Leuthard calls for courage at Francophone summit

Swiss President Doris Leuthard has opened the 2010 Francophone summit in Montreux by calling on delegations to have the courage to make bold decisions.

Leuthard, who is Switzerland’s economics minister, said that Switzerland wanted to play a role that would bring French-speaking countries together.

“We are concerned that the smallest and least powerful countries, particularly in Africa, should also also be able to defend their interests,” she reportedly said in an interview with Saturday’s edition of the Geneva newspaper Le Temps.

In her opening speech in Montreux on Lake Geneva, Leuthard also called on the summit to look towards the future.

She wondered how the International Francophone Organisation could add its weight to other institutions such as the G8 or G20 groups on such issues as reform of the United Nations Security Council and on the UN Millennium Development Goals.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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