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Kosovan diaspora honour Swiss minister

Calmy-Rey was presented with an award during talks with her Kosovan counterpart Enver Hoxhaj Keystone

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Clamy-Rey has been presented with the first Kosovan Prix Diaspora for her support during Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

This content was published on November 11, 2011 - 16:24
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The award, a golden sculpture, is issued by the 170,000-strong Kosovan community of Switzerland and will be an annual event. It was given in honour of Calmy-Rey’s “courageous” stance during Kosovo’s split from Serbia in 2008.

The award was handed over on Friday by Kosovan Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj during a working visit to Bern, where a bilateral accord on road transport was signed “to improve economic relations between the two countries”.

The accord is one of a series of treaties being signed to build up a legal framework to bilateral relations. During the visit Calmy-Rey called on Kosovo to overcome the country’s challenges including rule of law, corruption and economic development.

She also expressed hope that the conflict in northern Kosovo could be resolved peacefully and called on Serbia and Kosovo to continue talks.

The Kosovan diaspora considers Switzerland a “second homeland”, Hoxhaj said.

Calmy-Rey was named for the diaspora award a year ago but the presentation was delayed following Swiss Senator Dick Marty’s Council of Europe report into alleged organ trafficking by Kosovan authorities. 

During Friday’s talks Calmy-Rey said Switzerland was interested in carrying out a full probe into the allegations.

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