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Official visit Swiss-French relations get a boost in Paris

two men in suits plus three soldiers

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, welcomes Swiss President Alain Berset at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Swiss President Alain Berset is in Paris, where he and French President Emmanuel Macron have been discussing Swiss-French relations and European politics. 

The two heads of state discussed the importance of the bilateral economic relations between Switzerland and its western neighbour, France. Another theme of their meeting was the lively exchange in the field of research, the Federal Department of Home Affairsexternal link announced on Wednesday. In addition to his role as the rotating Swiss president, Berset is the home affairs minister. 

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When talking about European politics, Berset emphasized that it was not just common interests uniting Switzerland, France and the European Union (EU). Fundamental values and close cooperation, such as peace-building and human rights, also have a binding effect, he said. 

Other topics of discussion were the institutional framework agreement and Brexit. Regarding crises and conflicts outside the EU, both sides pleaded for a strengthening of multilateralism, according to the home affairs office. 

Switzerland and France want to continue their international collaboration, for example, in the International Organisation of La Francophonieexternal link. They also discussed how International Genevaexternal link links Bern and Paris. Some 195,000 Swiss live in France, and around 170,000 French commute to Switzerland for work

On Tuesday, Berset met Angel Gurría, the Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)external link, in Paris. Global economic perspectives and transatlantic trade issues were the focus of that conversation.


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