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Foreign minister pays lightning visit to Haiti

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey paid a brief visit to Port-au-Prince in Haiti on Sunday, where she visited Swiss aid workers and met President René Préval.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lars Knuchel told the Swiss News Agency that in her meeting with Préval she had expressed sympathy and solidarity with the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake last month.

She also discussed with Préval ways in which Swiss aid would continue in the medium and long term.

Knuchel added that she had raised the matter of the funds deposited in Swiss banks by the former dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier. The funds have been frozen pending the resolution of a legal case to determine their rightful owner.

Last August the Swiss penal court ruled that they should be given to the authorities in Haiti, but the Duvalier family appealed the decision.

The deposits are worth SFr7,600,000 ($7 million) and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR