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European summit outcome dominates Ciampi’s Swiss visit

Swiss president Adolf Ogi (right) speaks with his Italian counterpart Carlo Ciampi Keystone

The outcome of the European Union summit, which ended on Monday, was high on the agenda of a visit to Switzerland by the Italian president, Carlo Ciampi.

Ciampi told the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, and other members of the government on Wednesday that the Nice summit, which concentrated on internal voting and expansion issues, had not yielded all the results hoped for. But he said it was still a cause for satisfaction.

Ciampi told his Swiss colleagues that the prospect of a widened, deepened EU was the best result of the Nice meeting.

Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland watched the summit with close interest. The Swiss have negotiated a series of bilateral accords with the EU on issues ranging from transport, the free movement of people, and scientific research.

Two-thirds of the Swiss voters approved the accords in a referendum in May.

The accords have to be ratified by each of the 15 EU members. Italy did so last month, which Ciampi said was a sign of the value his country placed on Swiss engagement with the EU.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR