Switzerland and Kosovo sign a road transport agreement

Bern, Press release, 11.11.2011

Today, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), has received the Foreign Minister of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, in Bern for an official working visit. The agenda included the signing of a road transport agreement. This agreement is one of a series of treaties recently concluded by the two states which are giving a legal framework to relations between Kosovo and Switzerland.

“Our two countries are closely linked as a result of the more than 170,000 people originating from Kosovo who live in Switzerland,” said Mrs Calmy-Rey today in Bern following talks with the Kosovar Foreign Minister, Enver Hoxhaj. For this reason, she said, a solid legal foundation was all the more important. The road transport agreement signed in Bern today is one of a series of treaties recently sealed by Switzerland and Kosovo. In 2010, the two countries concluded a readmission agreement, followed by an agreement on air traffic and one on technical co-operation, together with a Memorandum of understanding on migration cooperation. Only a few weeks ago, the two countries signed an agreement on the protection of investments. 

Since the declaration of independence in 2008, Kosovo has taken a number of steps to consolidate its statehood and to improve the political integration of its minorities. At the same time, major challenges have to be addressed in the areas of the rule of law, the fight against corruption, and economic development. In this context, Micheline Calmy-Rey called on the Government of Kosovo to demonstrate its political will to overcome these challenges and to implement concrete measures. The political situation is still very volatile as recent developments in Northern Kosovo have shown. 

Switzerland actively supports the international peacekeeping mission in Kosovo through the deployment of SWISSCOY. Mrs Calmy-Rey expressed the hope that the conflict in Northern Kosovo can be resolved peacefully and that Serbia and Kosovo will continue their dialogue with the mediation of the EU. In addition, the President of the Confederation emphasised Switzerland’s interest in carrying out a comprehensive and credible investigation into the allegations of illegal trafficking in human body organs in Kosovo set out in the so-called “Marty Report” of the Council of Europe. 

Following the meeting with Mr Hoxhaj, representatives of the Kosovar community in Switzerland conferred the “Prix Diaspora” on Mrs Calmy-Rey in recognition of Switzerland’s services in Kosovo.  

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Lars Knuchel
Head of FDFA Information
++41 79 277 55 60

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