Switzerland and Turkey decide on a strategic partnership

Bern, Press releases, 10.10.2013

On 10 October 2013, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter met the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, at the Lohn Manor in Kehrsatz for talks. Switzerland will expand and consolidate the already intensive relations between the two countries with the aim of creating a strategic partnership with Turkey, which is an emerging power and member of the G20.

At their meeting Mr Burkhalter and Mr Davutoğlu discussed the following areas of cooperation that Bern and Ankara wish to develop as priorities:

  • Major future events of mutual interest: The two countries envisage close cooperation in major events such as the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has offered Switzerland’s expertise in the preparation of the summit. Another possible area of cooperation is the world exposition of 2020 for which the Turkish city Izmir is a candidate.
  • Important presidencies that the two countries are soon to hold will also benefit from synergies and cooperation: Switzerland will chair the OSCE in 2014 and Turkey the G20 in 2015. The priorities of the Swiss OSCE chairmanship were a central item of the discussion between the two foreign ministers. Turkey, a committed member state of the OSCE, essentially shares the priorities that Switzerland has set for its chairmanship, including the fight against terrorism and the revision of the Vienna Document. The Swiss chairmanship will also seek and exploit synergies with Turkey in areas of common interest.
  • Other dossiers of shared interest include the fight against terrorism, the abolition of the death penalty, work within the Human Rights Council, the protection of cultural property, and economic relations. Turkey is an important economic partner for Switzerland. In 2012, bilateral trade amounted to some CHF 3 billion.

The two ministers also discussed major international political issues such as the meeting in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear programme, which will take place on 15 and 16 October 2013, as well as the conflict in Syria and the question of refugees, of which more than 450,000 are currently living in Turkey. The two foreign ministers also discussed their expectations with a view to a conference in Geneva on the Syrian crisis.

Mr Davutoğlu also paid a courtesy visit to the president of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer.

Further information:

Relations between Turkey and Switzerland

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