His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa arrived at Lohn Manor at around midday where he was received with military honours. Afterwards the Swiss president and the King of Bahrain held talks in private followed by an official luncheon. The delegations discussed relations between the two countries, which have intensified following the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on holding political consultations in November 2014.
President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann provided his guest with an insight into the country’s society, values, culture and diversity. The talks covered cooperation in international organisations, the strengthening of economic and trade relations – particularly in light of the free trade agreement between the EFTA states and the Gulf Cooperation Council –, the situation in Syria and Yemen, and Switzerland’s contribution towards peace and stability in the region.
Broadening of cooperation
Before the official luncheon, FDFA State Secretary Yves Rossier held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Topics addressed during these technical discussions included bilateral relations between the two countries, the situation in the Gulf region and multilateral issues. Cooperation will be broadened in a number of areas as a result.
A number of agreements were signed or initialled in the presence of President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. A double taxation convention was initialled between the two countries. Two aide-mémoires on human rights were also signed.In addition, the Swiss delegation proposed an exchange of information between the Swiss National Library and the King Hamad Digital Library. The discussion partners welcomed the recent contacts and planned continuation of exchanges between the trade promotion agencies Switzerland Global Enterprise and the Bahrain Economic Development Board. The aim of these contacts is to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
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