In recent years, Switzerland and Armenia have concertedly deepened and intensified their relations. Today's official return visit by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan takes place about one month after President Micheline Calmy-Rey's visit to Armenia, where she formally opened the new Swiss Embassy in Yerevan. Their talks of today centred on bilateral relations in the fields of culture, education and science, as well as on economic and development cooperation issues. Other points of discussion were Armenia's relations with its neighbours and current issues in the domain of international politics and multilateral cooperation.
This is the first official visit of an Armenian President to Switzerland. Serzh Sargsyan took the opportunity on Monday to pay a visit to the Geneva International Book and Press Fair, where Armenia is the guest of honour this year. A meeting with National Council President Jean-René Germanier was also part of the programme this morning.
The volume of trade between Switzerland and Armenia has so far been modest. On the other hand, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC has committed approximately CHF 5 million per year to rural development, humanitarian assistance and disaster prevention.
The signing in Zurich on 10 October 2009 of two protocols on the normalisation of Turkish-Armenian relations, which was to a significant extent achieved thanks to a mediation process on the part of Switzerland, has also contributed to the deepening of relations between the two countries. Switzerland continues to maintain contacts with both parties and encourages them to continue the normalisation process they have begun.
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