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President Michel Suleiman heads to Switzerland on Friday to take part in the 2010 Francophonie summit, which will be held on October 23 and 24.

The 2010 Francophonie summit will be held in Montreux , Switzerland

Suleiman postponed traveling to Montreux until Friday in order to head the cabinet’s session on Wednesday.

Suleiman will be accompanied by a delegation including ministers Ali Shami, Elias al-Murr and Salim Wardeh, the correspondent said.

According to local reports the president is expected to deliver a speech during the opening of the summit on Saturday, in which he will stress Lebanon’s commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 1701. He will also call on Francophonie states to pressure Israel to stop its violations of Lebanon’s airspace and will meet with several heads of states on the sidelines of the summit.

Francophonie

The leaders of the world’s French-speaking nations will be meeting in the Lake Geneva town of Montreux .The 56-nation International Organization of Francophonie (IOF) will elect an IOF Secretary-General. Senegalese President Abdou Diouf plans to run for a third, four-year term as Francophonie head.

The global financial crisis stole the agenda at the 12th Francophone summit. Climate change could top the agenda at the 13th, with the poorer IOF countries demanding more help to combat the potentially calamitous impact of global warming.

The Nov 2009 minaret ban stunned the Muslim community, rattled the Swiss government, drew widespread international criticism and indicated that a majority of the population was veering towards a less tolerant society. There are 7 Muslim nations in IOF.

Other key agenda issues at the 13th summit include human rights, democracy and the environment.

The 2010 summit was originally supposed to have been held in Madagascar, but it was dropped as a venue because of the confused political situation in the island.

The Francophonie, which mainly groups former French colonies, is the French-language equivalent of the British-led Commonwealth of Nations and a summit is held every two years.

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