Ignazio Cassis meets with Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias

Bern, 11.11.2021 - In the year in which Greece celebrates the bicentenary of its independence, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis received Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias in Bern. The main topics for the official talks included the two countries' strong bilateral relations, Switzerland's European policy, the challenges of migration and current international issues.

The last time the two foreign ministers met was in 2019, when Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis travelled to Greece on a working visit. Today's bilateral talks in Bern emphasised the good relations that the two countries have enjoyed for many years in a wide variety of areas. They were also an opportunity to commemorate the bicentenary of Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire and the uprising of 1821, which was also supported at the time by various Swiss public figures. The strength of Switzerland's ties with Greece is also reflected in more recent examples, such as the engagement of Swiss Humanitarian Aid and the Swiss Armed Forces in extinguishing the forest fires in the country this summer and the dispatch of medical supplies by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to the Greek authorities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Close bilateral and multilateral cooperation

Switzerland and Greece maintain successful relations in a wide range of areas including energy, business, culture, research, and of course tourism. Over 500,000 Swiss tourists spend their holidays in Greece every year. In the area of migration, the two countries pursue common interests and work closely together. Switzerland is also supporting Greece in the migration emergency. The Swiss support includes targeted aid in refugee camps. Mr Cassis and fellow foreign minister Nikos Dendias restated their desire to further strengthen their countries' good bilateral relations and discussed global issues such as the health challenges of the pandemic and the environmental challenges resulting from climate change.

Turning to current international events, the two ministers discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Switzerland's role as host state. Mr Cassis then informed his counterpart about Switzerland's European policy and the current situation with regard to Swiss–EU relations, reiterating that the Federal Council seeks to establish a political dialogue with the EU.

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