Switzerland and Armenia will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in April 2012. The links between the two countries have intensified in recent years. The first meeting between Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian comes almost a year after the visit to Armenia by former president of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey on 30 March 2011, a visit which marked the inauguration of the Swiss Embassy in Jerevan. On 3 May 2011 the Armenian President Serge Sarkissian in turn paid a visit to Switzerland.
During their discussions, Mr Burkhalter and Mr Nalbandian discussed a number of bilateral issues. They noted that there was still room for further progress in the area of economic cooperation, even though the legal framework is favourable. As for development cooperation, the active participation of the Armenian government in the development and the follow-up of projects started by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) was welcomed.
The Swiss and the Armenian foreign ministers also discussed regional issues, in particular Switzerland’s efforts to broker a peace in South Caucasus.
Finally, Mr Burkhalter informed Mr Nalbandian about the successive chairmanships-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of Switzerland (2014) and Serbia (2015). He pointed out that in Switzerland's view the conflict in Nagorny Karabak could only be resolved by peaceful means. In this context, Switzerland was following with great interest the mediation efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group to bring about a resolution of this conflict.
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