After having witnessed the opening ceremony at the Sydney Olympics, and held talks with Australian leaders, the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, flew to Singapore on Sunday.
There, Ogi briefly held talks with his counterpart, S.R. Nathan, with whom he discussed bilateral relations between Singapore and Switzerland, along with the strategic and political role Singapore plays at a regional and global level.
Ogi and Nathan also talked about Singapore's economic situation, which is of interest to Berne given that a significant number of Swiss companies are present there.
Several thousand Swiss citizens also live in Singapore, making them the second most important group of foreign residents on the island-state.
While in Australia, Ogi attended the Olympic Games opening ceremony and held talks with leading Australian government ministers including the defence minister, John Moore, and the minister for sport, Jackie Kelly.
Security issues in the Asia-Pacific region as well as global armaments questions were at the heart of the meeting with Moore.
On Friday, he took the opportunity of meeting the prime minister, John Howard, to discuss last year’s Saxet Gorge tragedy in which 13 Australians died in a canyoning accident in Switzerland.
They also discussed immigration policy and repatriation programmes. Australia faces a similar problem to Switzerland in the high number of immigrants.
swissinfo with agencies
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