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Calmy-Rey visits troops in Kosovo

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has visited the contingent of Swiss troops in Kosovo and stressed the importance of Switzerland's military engagement in the country.

Speaking at Camp Casablanca at Suva Reka on the second day of her official visit to the newly-independent country, Calmy-Rey said no other European country had more interest than Switzerland in securing a peaceful Kosovo with prospects for the future.

Calmy-Rey said the Swiss troops stationed in Kosovo were an important part of Swiss foreign policy.

There are 220 Swisscoy soldiers based at the camp, which they share with 500 Austrians. The troops are part of the 16,000-strong Nato peacekeeping force (Kfor), which was set up in 1999.

A new contingent of Swiss soldiers will replace the current group on April 3. At the beginning of March, the House of Representatives became the first parliamentary chamber to approve Swisscoy’s mandate up to 2011.

Calmy-Rey will begin the final part of her three-country tour of the region on Sunday with a visit to Macedonia.

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