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Swiss take over Council of Europe

Published on 19/11/2009

Strasbourg -- Switzerland took over on Wednesday the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe, a 47-nation body that promotes human rights and democracy on the continent.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar, whose country held the chairmanship, giving responsibility to Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmy-Rey before council Secretary General Thorbjoern Jagland and the body’s ambassadors.

Calmy-Rey, who will head the council’s committee of ministers, said Switzerland wants to focus on cooperation between the body and the European Union.

She also wants to reinforce cooperation with Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations, with the creation of a liaison office in Geneva.

The Swiss presidency will end in May 2010.

AFP / Expatica