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Switzerland, Macedonia boost fight against organised crime

Switzerland and Macedonia have agreed to boost police cooperation and signed a declaration to join forces in the fight against organised crime.

This content was published on December 10, 1999 - 17:41

Switzerland and Macedonia have agreed to boost police cooperation and signed a declaration to join forces in the fight against organised crime.

The accord was signed in the Macedonian capital Skopje on Friday, as part of Swiss Justice Minister Ruth Metzlers’ two-day visit to the Balkan nation.

Following talks with Interior Minister Pavel Trajanov and her Macedonian counterpart Vlado Kambovski, Metzler told journalists that it was important for Switzerland to join forces with other nations in cracking down against drug trafficking.

“We have assured the Macedonian government of Switzerland’s support in the fight against organised and economic crime,” she said.

A senior Swiss police official who travelled with Metzler said Macedonia played an important role in the routing of drugs that often end up in Switzerland. The official said the declaration was aimed at cutting red tape in police cooperation in order to destroy the financial base of organised crime.

Metzler also underlined Macedonia’s difficult economic situation, which she said was largely due to the country’s post-communist transition to a free market economy.

She ensured Skopje of Switzerland’s help, saying that pro-democracy reforms would also be supported. A team of Macedonian interior ministry officials would travel to Switzerland in February for a seminar to study Switzerland’s political and legal system, she said.

On Friday, observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe expressed concern over election irregularities in last week's presidential vote.

From staff and wire reports.

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