Macedonian president departs on four-country tour

SKOPJE, Jan 31, 2000 -- (AFP) Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski left Saturday on a tour which will take him to Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium and Canada, Macedonian radio reported.

The aim of Trajkovski's tour, with the first stop in the Swiss resort of Davos where he was due to attend the World Economic Forum, was to get support for Skopje's integration into the European Union, the radio said.

Macedonia is to begin negotiations soon for EU membership.

In Davos, Trajkovski was expected to meet U.S. President Bill Clinton as well as Swiss President Adolf Ogi.

He was then scheduled to visit Portugal, currently holding the rotating EU presidency, for talks with his Portuguese counterpart, Jorge Sampaio.

Trajkovski's next stop would be Brussels, to meet EU officials, followed by a visit to Canada and talks on bilateral relations with Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others.