Brussels, 30 March 2007
The Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will be making her first official visit to Switzerland and Liechtenstein on 2 and 3 April. The talks will take in bilateral relations, EU enlargement and international issues. The opening of the Commission delegation in Bern on 3 April is a key event. The delegation will do much to further develop the already exceptionally good and multifaceted relations.
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will first travel to Liechtenstein, where she will meet Hereditary Prince Alois, in Vaduz on 2 April. She will then discuss especially bilateral issues and EEA enlargement with Liechtenstein's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rita Kieber-Beck. Her visit to Liechtenstein will conclude with a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Otmar Hasler.
The keynote of the Commissioner's trip is the opening of the European Commission delegation in Bern. The head of delegation in Bern is accredited to both Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Speaking of the delegation, Mrs Ferrero-Waldner said: "Since taking office, I have lobbied for a delegation in Bern. We have close cultural and economic ties with Switzerland and a multitude of bilateral agreements and political links to look after." She went on to say that: "We have, in Ambassador Michael Reiterer, a good man in Bern. I am convinced that he will make a great contribution to enhancing understanding between the parties."
On 2 and 3 April the Commissioner will meet Switzerland's President and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey, for political discussions on bilateral relations and their further development and on key international political issues. A meeting has also been scheduled with members of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Swiss National Council and Council of States.
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