Russia, Switzerland could sign visa, readmission treaty in 2008

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MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister said on Friday the country could sign a visa facilitation and readmission treaty with Switzerland in early 2008.

"We are completing preparations for signing a treaty to facilitate visa regulations and on readmission, and I hope this will happen early next year," Sergei Lavrov said at a joint news conference in Moscow with the Swiss president.

Echoing Lavrov's comments, Micheline Calmy-Rey, who is also foreign minister under the Swiss system of a rotating, non-executive presidency, said the signing of the deal - designed to facilitate mutual travel and the expulsion of illegal immigrants arriving in Switzerland from or via Russia - would take place in the near future.

Calmy-Rey said some 10,000 Russians have emigrated to Switzerland and many Swiss live in Russia.

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