Switzerland provides Armenia with technical cooperation and is involved in helping resolve the conflicts in the South Caucasus region.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Armenia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland mediated in the negotiations between Armenia and Turkey on normalising their bilateral relations. This mediation, which concluded with the signing of the Protocols between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey in Zurich on 10 October 2009, helped to create closer ties between Switzerland and Armenia.
Armenia and Switzerland have concluded bilateral agreements in many difference areas. A visa facilitation agreement came into force in 2016.
Economic relations between Switzerland and Armenia are expanding. Switzerland exports mostly pharmaceuticals and watches, and imports products for the watch-making industry and textiles.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Armenia can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland's mandate to mediate between Armenia and Turkey formally expired with the signing of the Zurich Protocols on 10 October 2009. Although the protocols have not been ratified, Switzerland is continuing its efforts to facilitate a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia.
As part of its Cooperation Strategy South Caucasus 2017–2020, Switzerland is intensifying its efforts to find peaceful solutions to the conflicts in the region.
Switzerland is pursuing its engagement in the region following its 2014 chairmanship of the OSCE, with Ambassador Günther Bächler appointed OSCE special representative for the South Caucasus under the German and Austrian chairmanships. Mr Bächler represents the OSCE at the Geneva International Discussions and is working to encourage dialogue and closer relations between the countries of the region.
Peacebuilding, democracy, the rule of law and human rights are the priorities for the Armenia programme within Switzerland's 2017–2020 cooperation strategy for the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia). The budget for the strategy covering the three countries is CHF 67.2 million.
The Swiss embassy participates in a film festival, the ‘Settimana della lingua italiana’ and the Francophonie week with events it organises itself.
Swiss citizens in Armenia
At the end of 2016, there were 29 Swiss citizens living in Armenia according to the statistics on the number of Swiss nationals living abroad.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland provided humanitarian assistance to Armenia immediately after the devastating earthquake in 1988, when the country was still part of the Soviet Union.
Switzerland recognised Armenia as an independent state on 23 December 1991. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 30 April 1992. The Armenian ambassador was accredited to Switzerland in 2002.
In 2011, Switzerland opened an embassy in Yerevan. Until then, the Swiss ambassador in Tbilisi had also been accredited to Armenia.
The number of Swiss nationals in Armenia remains small. By contrast, the Armenian community in Switzerland is relatively large: between 4,000 and 6,000 people of Armenian origin live in Switzerland.