During her visit, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey praised the “privileged partnership” between Switzerland and Austria: “The intensive relations between our two countries range from shared economic and financial market interests through to a common understanding of neutrality and security issues and practical cooperation in visa area and crisis management," she stated.
Other topics that were discussed in Vienna included European policy, the democracy movements in the southern Mediterranean region, and nuclear energy policy in the wake of the Fukushima accident. The latter issue was also addressed in the meeting with Yukiya Amano, Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Swiss President Calmy-Rey noted that the nuclear disaster in Japan raises numerous issues of considerable concern: “We have to confront these issues, and cannot simply carry on as though nothing has happened.” Switzerland reacted swiftly: the general licensing procedure for new nuclear power plants to replace existing ones has been suspended, and the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate has been officially requested to carry out early safety inspections of Switzerland’s existing nuclear power plants. Furthermore, three energy scenarios are now being examined, including the option of withdrawal from nuclear energy.
For further information:
Adrian Sollberger, FDFA press-spokesman, 079 301 62 84
Address for enquiries:
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47