Official visit by Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey to Estonia and Lithuania

Bern, Press release, 11.10.2010

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey paid an official visit to Estonia and Lithuania on Sunday and Monday. In these two Baltic countries, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) met her counterparts and discussed a number of bilateral issues. The European Union and the OSCE were also items on the agenda.

On Monday in Tallinn, Mrs Calmy-Rey met the Estonian Foreign Minister Mr Urmas Paet. The two ministers stressed the excellence of the bilateral relations. In the framework of the enlargement contribution to the EU, Switzerland has contributed about CHF 40 million to Estonia. 

During their talks, Mrs Calmy-Rey and Mr Paet discussed their relations with the European Union. Mrs Calmy-Rey informed her host about Swiss policy in this area and about the report recently published by the Federal Council. Mr Paet outlined the terms currently facing his country. Estonia is preparing to rejoin the Eurozone in 2011.

A number of other topical issues were also discussed, for example the experience made in the field of cyber defence. Estonia hosts a international centre for cyber defence in Tallinn.

With the opening of the Francophonie Summit in Montreux coming up soon (22-24 October), Mrs Calmy-Rey explained Switzerland's priorities as president of the ministerial conference of Francophonie. Estonia's request for membership of the International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) will be considered at the summit and Estonia will send a delegation to Montreux.

After a meeting with Estonia’s president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Mrs Calmy-Rey visited Lithuania, where she met the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis in Vilnius.

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey and Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, having stated good relations between the countries in the various fields, declared their willingness to further strengthen friendly bilateral relations traditionally existing between the two countries. They expressed their intention to hold regular consultations to explore bilateral relations and exchange opinions on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

These consultations could be held once a year alternately in the Republic of Lithuania and the Swiss Confederation. The relevant ministries would determine the agenda, the level of representation and the venue consultations through diplomatic channels.

In the framework of the enlargement contribution, Switzerland has contributed about CHF 70 million to Lithuania.

Mrs Calmy-Rey and Mr Azubalis also discussed the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In particular they talked about the priorities of Lithuania, which will assume the presidency of this organisation in 2011. Mrs Calmy-Rey stressed to Mr Azubalis the great importance that Switzerland attaches to the OSCE and she assured him of Switzerland's full support for the Lithuanian presidency.

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Address for enquiries:

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Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs