Presidential visit to deepen relations between Switzerland and Oman

Bern, 30.11.2023 - Switzerland and Oman are deepening and intensifying their relations. During the first Swiss presidential visit to the country, President Alain Berset and Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said acknowledged the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in the Omani capital Muscat on Thursday, 30 November. Bilateral agreements were signed in five thematic areas.

Among the topics discussed was cooperation in the energy sector, where Oman has considerable potential, including in the production of hydrogen from renewable energies. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of facilitating research and exchange on these issues.

Further bilateral agreements signed in the presence of President Berset concern the promotion of tourism, cooperation between a Swiss pharmaceutical company and the Omani Ministry of Health, the employment situation for persons accompanying diplomats from both countries, and the training of Omani diplomats. The partnership on peacebuilding and mediation, which dates back to a memorandum of understanding signed in 2019, was also discussed. In this context, President Berset took part in the first Omani-Swiss mediation workshop. The focus was on the role of healthcare, which can make a significant contribution to social cohesion, peace and security.

President Berset was accompanied on his visit to Oman by a delegation drawn from the Swiss business and science communities. In addition to relations in these areas, discussions with the Sultan also covered vocational education and training. Other topics included the regular dialogue between the two countries on human rights, the situation in the Middle East and Yemen, the objectives of Oman's presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, cooperation at international level and the UN Security Council.

At a ceremony with President Berset to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Oman, the Omani postal service presented a special stamp featuring Jabrin Castle in north-west Oman and Waldegg Castle in the canton of Solothurn.

Next stop COP28 climate conference

From Oman, President Berset will travel to Dubai (United Arab Emirates), where he will attend the opening of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference. At COP28, resolutions are to be passed on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. As part of the ‘Global Stocktake’, the participating countries will for the first time jointly take stock of progress made under the agreement and discuss how they can keep within reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

President Berset will attend the meeting of heads of state at the opening of COP28 on Friday, 1 December, and on Saturday, 2 December. As the conference progresses, Federal Councillor Albert Rösti, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will also represent Switzerland in Dubai.

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