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Hassan Rouhani Iranian president to pay official visit to Switzerland

Johann Schneider-Amman and Hassan Rouhani

Former Swiss President Johann Schneider-Amman and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2016

(Keystone)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will pay an official visit to Switzerland on July 2-3. Alain Berset, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, will receive Rouhani in Zurich with military honours. 

A first meeting will take place in Bern, which will also be attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis and the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the government said in a statement on Monday. 

Official talks will be held on July 3, where Switzerland will be represented by Berset, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga and Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann. 

The government said a number of agreements and declarations of intent were expected to be signed during the visit, including the Iran nuclear agreement and the situation in the Near and Middle East. 

“Further issues include the protecting power mandate which Switzerland exercises on behalf of the US in Iran (since 1980), and that on behalf of Iran in Saudi Arabia and of Saudi Arabia in Iran, which recently came into effect,” the statement said. 

“Also on the agenda is the question of how bilateral relations can be further developed in light of the decision by the USA to re-introduce sanctions against Iran, which had been suspended since 2016.” 

‘Important partner’ 

Iran is an important partner for Switzerland both politically and economically, according to the foreign affairs ministry. The two countries adopted a road map to intensify bilateral relations at the end of February 2016 when Schneider-Ammann paid a visit to Teheran during his year as president. 

“This served as an impetus to launch or resume regular dialogue in the fields of economic and financial affairs, human rights and justice, nuclear safety and migration,” the ministry wrote. 

“The visit by the Iranian president provides an opportunity to take stock and discuss the next steps in implementing the road map.”


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