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Switzerland funds reconstruction projects in Croatia

Joseph Deiss (left) offered more aid to his Croatian counterpart, Tonino Picula


The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has offered fresh aid worth SFr4 million ($2.37 million) to Croatia to help rebuild homes destroyed during its war against the Serbs nine years ago.

Deiss made the offer on Thursday during a one-day visit to Zagreb, where he held talks with his Croatian opposite number, Tonino Picula.

"We will continue our active involvement in the humanitarian sector, which began during the war," Deiss said after his meeting with Picula. "We are currently engaged in the Knin region, where we are helping to re-house returned refugees."

He added that construction was underway of 18 buildings to house 300 Serbs who were driven from their homes in the region.

In addition, Deiss promised SFr750,000 to fund a de-mining project. Up to 1.2 million landmines were planted in Croatia during the war with Serbia, with only 200,000 made safe so far.

Switzerland formally recognised the former Yugoslav republic in 1992 and established diplomatic relations the same year.

swissinfo with agencies

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