Official working visit by the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Bern, Press release, 10.11.2009

The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Mrs Calmy-Rey received Mr Eduard Nalbandian, Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, for a working visit on Tuesday evening. Two agreements were signed at the meeting. One was an adaptation of the air traffic treaty of 1998, while the other concerned the issuance of visas to diplomats.

Mrs Calmy-Rey and Mr Nalbandian are currently pursuing their talks on various bilateral and multilateral issues. The discussions will focus on the activities of the SDC in Armenia, the economic situation in both countries, Switzerland's objectives as chairman-in-office of the Council of Europe and the activities of the Organisation for  Security and Cooperation in Europe. The talks will be followed by a dinner at which the exchange of views will continue.  

In October 2008, the two countries re-negotiated the air traffic agreement initialled in 1998, which had not yet been signed. The old agreement has now been taken over by  developments in the civil aviation sector. It stated that air traffic between Switzerland and Armenia would be governed by the principle of nationality. This principle stipulated that the majority of the capital of airline companies wishing to establish airlines operating between the two countries would have to be owned by national investors.  

The new agreement signed today stipulates only that the operational headquarters have to be in one of the two countries. This new formulation fully takes into account the conditions prevailing in today's globalised air transport market. The agreement suppressing the necessity of visas for diplomatic staff comes on top of the re-admission agreement which is already in force between the two countries and underlines the good cooperation in migration matters between the two countries.

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