Didier Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, will meet the new German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, for official talks on Thursday. This will be the first contact between the two foreign ministers – Sigmar Gabriel took up his new post at the end of January 2017 – and their discussions will focus on how Switzerland and Germany will continue to work closely together. A key area of their talks will be cooperation between the two countries to strengthen peace and security.
They will also discuss the situation in Europe, including Switzerland’s policy with regard to the EU.
Relations between Switzerland and Germany are characterised by close ties in a number of areas. Germany is Switzerland’s biggest trading partner, with trade between the two nations amounting to CHF 94 billion in 2016. Around 300,000 German nationals currently live in Switzerland and almost 90,000 Swiss nationals live in Germany
Maintaining and strengthening bilateral relations with Switzerland’s neighbouring countries is one of the priorities of the Federal Council's foreign policy strategy.
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