President Schneider-Ammann receives Georgian Prime Minister Kvirikashvili

Press releases, 28.06.2016

Bern - On Monday, 27 June, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann received Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Bern for an official working visit. Later that day, the president and prime minister attended the EFTA Ministerial Meeting at which a free trade agreement was signed with Georgia. Bilateral talks focused on efforts to promote peace in the Caucasus and Switzerland’s cooperation strategy for the South Caucasus region.

Both sides acknowledged the excellent relations that exit between the two countries – also in the context of Switzerland’s activities in the South Caucasus region, a longstanding priority in its development cooperation programme. The particular focus is on economic development and employment, public services and human security. Mr Schneider-Ammann explained that Switzerland will continue its involvement in South Caucasus and Georgia beyond the Cooperation Programme 2013-2016.

Furthermore, the president stressed that Switzerland was ready to support Georgia’s efforts for better relations with Russia. As part of its protecting power mandate, Switzerland has been representing the interests of Georgia in Moscow and the interests of the Russian Federation in Tbilisi since March 2009. The delegations also discussed the important role of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in trouble spots in the region.

In economic terms, exchanges between Switzerland and Georgia are yet as intensive as in political matters. Trade relations are currently at a low level. In view of the free trade agreement between EFTA and Georgia, both sides expressed the hope that this would change. President Schneider-Ammann acknowledged the progress made by Georgia with regard to investment protection.

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Bilateral relations Switzerland–Georgia