The official talks will focus on bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of education and research, and on economic and international issues. European policy will also feature prominently on the agenda. The Portuguese president will be met by President Schneider-Ammann in Geneva on Monday morning and commence with visits to education and research institutions. In the afternoon the President of the Portuguese Republic will be greeted in Bern by the seven members of the Federal Council with military honours.
The official talks, which are scheduled to take place at the Bernerhof, will be attended by President Schneider-Ammann and President Rebelo de Sousa, along with members of the respective governments. The gala dinner will be held on the evening of the first day. The second day of the visit will be dedicated to the themes of vocational education and training and culture; the programme includes visits to a business and a museum in the Emmental.
Longstanding and close relations
The state visit pays tribute to the close human ties that have existed between Switzerland Portugal for many decades. There are currently around 270,000 Portuguese nationals living in Switzerland forming the third largest foreign community in the country.
Around 3,700 Swiss nationals live in Portugal. Records documenting contacts between the two countries date back to the 15th century and consular relations were established in 1817. In 1910 Switzerland was the first European country to officially recognise the republican government in Portugal following the toppling of the monarchy.
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