Swiss neutrality doesn't apply to counter-terrorism – FM

BEIRUT, May 24 (KUNA) — Visiting Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said Tuesday that his country, known as the world’s oldest neutral country, gives up its neutral policy when it comes to the combat against terrorism.
Switzerland’s neutrality lies in the fact that the country has not fought a foreign war since signing of the Paris Treaty of 1815, he said at a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Gebran Bassil.
Switzerland tries to translate this policy into action that could serve peace and coexistence, he said, noting that this policy does not prevent the country from contributing to the global efforts to combat terrorism.
Burkhalter, who arrived at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport this afternoon, commended the relationship between his country and Lebanon and reaffirmed support to Lebanon at the current delicate stage in the Middle East region.
On his part, Bassil said that Lebanon did its utmost to distance itself from the turmoil in neighboring Syria but it was inevitable that the Syrian crisis had a spillover on Lebanon.
“The Lebanese government has an impression that the situation in Syria is unlikely to encourage the Syrian refugees to return home in the near future,” he said.
The Lebanese minister warned that the conflict in Syria could lead to destruction of entire communities in the region. (end)

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