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PIA Press Release

Filipino warm hospitality overwhelms Swiss President as he ends his 3-day RP state visit

Manila (13 August) -- Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Sutter thanked Monday night President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Filipino people for the warm hospitality accorded to Swiss Confederation President Pascal Couchepin during his three-day state visit in the Philippines.

"Thank you, Madame President, and the Filipino people for your warm hospitality," Sutter said.

The Swiss ambassador made the statement before the start of the special screening of the "The Alps" which was graced by the two Presidents Monday night at the IMAX Theater at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Among those invited to watch the short documentary film included members of the business community and the diplomatic corps.

The 25-minute documentary presented by Holcim Philippines, a leading Swiss cement company, is a heart-warming story of mountaineer John Harlin III, who conquered the 12,000-foot Mt. Eiger, the highest peak in the Alps which had claimed the life of his father, John Harlin II, as its 27th victim in 1966.

Sutter said Harlin's determination to climb the perilous north face of Mt. Eiger also symbolizes the Swiss people's determination and uphill struggle to gain their unique style of democracy through the determination and self-reliance particularly by its isolated communities despite the harsh conditions in the Alps.

The screening capped President Couchepin's successful three-day visit to the country highlighted by his assurance of continuing support to recover the Marcos assets in Switzerland.

The President of the Swiss Confederation has invited the Philippines to participate as a guest country at the MUBA 2009, the biggest Swiss consumer trade fair to be held in Basel next year, to promote Philippine products and the country's popular tourism destinations.

On the other hand, President Arroyo acknowledged the role of Swiss companies in the Philippines in the country's national development and for hosting some 10,000 Filipinos in Switzerland.

The President also thanked the Swiss government for its willingness to share its experience in Federalism which could lead to lasting peace in Mindanao. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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