Switzerland and Norway have common interests in many areas, including human security, peace promotion and humanitarian policy. They also work closely together to issue Schengen visas, with Switzerland representing Norway in Madagascar, and Norway representing Switzerland's interests in Angola, Uganda and Malawi. This is precisely why the two countries enjoy excellent bilateral and multilateral relations, noted Mr Cassis during his meeting with Ms Eriksen Søreide.
Cooperation at European and multilateral levels
Switzerland's and Norway's EU policies were also on the agenda, and Mr Cassis briefed Ms Eriksen Søreide on Switzerland's next steps in this area. Further topics of discussion were the two countries' new relationship with the United Kingdom post-Brexit and their close cooperation as members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
The meeting also focused on Switzerland's and Norway's roles within the UN, in particular as the organisation marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter and Norway prepares to take up a seat on the UN Security Council for the 2021–22 period. Mr Cassis and Ms Eriksen Søreide also discussed current challenges in the international arena, in particular the human rights situation in Belarus.
Meeting with head of Norway's EFTA/EEA delegation
Following his meeting with Ms Eriksen Søreide, Mr Cassis met with Norwegian Member of Parliament Svein Roald Hansen, who heads Norway's delegation to EFTA/EEA. They discussed cooperation between Switzerland and Norway in EFTA as well as other European policy issues. Mr Cassis was accompanied in both meetings by Member of the National Council Eric Nussbaumer (Swiss Social Democratic Party), who heads the Swiss parliamentary delegation to the EU/EFTA and is a member of the National Council's Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), and by Member of the National Council Anna Giacometti (FDP.The Liberals), who is also a member of the FAC.
Following his official visit to Norway, Federal Councillor Cassis will travel to Denmark.
The last visit by a head of the FDFA to Norway was in 2001, when former Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss met his counterpart Thorbjørn Jagland in Oslo on an official working visit.
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