Ignazio Cassis on official visit to San Marino, where tradition meets innovation

Press releases, 01.10.2020

On 1 October Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis participated as official speaker at the investiture of the captains regent of San Marino, a traditional ceremony that has been handed down unaltered since 1243. In his speech, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) restated the importance of multilateralism and international Geneva as a platform for discussion on digitalisation. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding committing them to work together more closely in the multilateral arena.

In addition to solid roots, an innovative spirit is also needed to face future challenges, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis affirmed in his speech at the investiture of the captains regent of San Marino. This ancient rite takes place every six months, on 1 April and 1 October, and the ceremony always includes a speech by a foreign dignitary. Mr Cassis is the first federal councillor to take part in this capacity.

The balance between respect for tradition and an openness to the world unites Switzerland and San Marino: "Upholding our traditions doesn't mean remaining wedded to the past and ignoring the challenges posed by the passing of time," said Cassis, reiterating the importance of having universal reference points and clear rules that are recognised by all. "This is the only way we can maintain close, stable relations with Europe and the international community," he concluded. Ignazio Cassis went on to restate Switzerland's commitment to multilateral bodies, highlighting the important role played by International Geneva and Switzerland's candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2023–24.

A long history of working together
Switzerland has close relations with San Marino, considered to be the oldest republic in the world. During the visit, Mr Cassis had discussions with a delegation from the San Marino government and the state secretary for foreign affairs, Luca Beccari. On the agenda were various bilateral matters and the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The two countries expressed their desire to work still more closely together and further improve their already good relations. They also signed a memorandum of understanding in which they undertook to strengthen cooperation in the multilateral arena to ensure the defence of and respect for common values, such as peace, human rights, democracy and good governance. Mr Cassis also briefed the San Marino authorities on the status of discussions between Switzerland and the EU for the conclusion of an institutional framework agreement, also in the light of the result of the federal vote of 27 September 2020.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–San Marino
Official Address by the Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs