Germany has said it favours a fair solution in the ongoing aviation row with Switzerland.This content was published on October 14, 2003 - 17:46
During talks in Berlin with his Swiss counterpart, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer also reiterated German support for Switzerland’s bid to conclude a second set of bilateral treaties with the European Union.
In talks lasting 50 minutes, the two ministers discussed the long-standing row over noise at Switzerland’s main airport at Zurich.
In March, the Swiss parliament rejected an aviation accord agreed last year with Germany, which aimed to gradually reduce the number of flights approaching Zurich over southern Germany.
Parliamentarians said the deal was weighted too heavily in Germany’s favour.
Fischer told reporters in Berlin that both countries wanted to find a fair compromise.
“We want to find a political solution with Germany,” agreed Calmy-Rey.
In May, Germany held off from imposing severe restrictions on flights over southern Germany.
But the measures, including bans on night flights and over the weekend, are due to come in at the end of this month.
The plans are unpopular because they would force the airport to reorganise landing routes and direct planes over affluent areas of Zurich.
Calmy-Rey’s Berlin visit is part of Swiss efforts to conclude negotiations on the bilateral treaties by the end of the year.
But previous talks between the EU and Switzerland on police cooperation and customs fraud have made slow progress.
Outstanding issues include questions of security, asylum and cross-border controls.
Fischer reiterated that Germany was in favour of a swift resolution of the outstanding matters, including tax and security issues.
Calmy-Rey said that above all it was important for Switzerland to conclude an agreement with the EU over the free movement of people.
Her meeting with Fischer follows on from the visit of the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, to Bern last month.
Schröder, too, pledged support for Switzerland’s second set of bilateral agreements with the EU and a political solution to the Zurich airport row.
swissinfo with agencies
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has said his country is in favour of a fair solution to the ongoing aviation row with Switzerland over Zurich airport.
Germany has also pledged to support Switzerland in its bid to conclude a second set of bilateral treaties with the European Union.
The meeting between Calmy-Rey and Fischer follows on from the visit of the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, to Bern, last month.
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