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State visit Prince Alois of Liechtenstein visits Switzerland

state visit

Prince Alois has been head of state of the principality since his father Prince Hans-Adam II handed over power to him in 2004.

(Keystone)

The Swiss government welcomed the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein on Wednesday for a two-day state visit.

Prince Alois and his wife  were greeted by the Swiss President Ueli Maurer in the town of Sargans on Wednesday before travelling by special train to the Swiss capital, Bern. They were joined by a high-level delegation, which included Liechtenstein Prime Minister Adrian Hasler.

According to an official statementexternal link, members of the Federal Council and the Liechtenstein delegation discussed common challenges including the digital revolution, migration, and financial and tax issues. 

The two sides also discussed the latest developments in Europe, notably in anticipation of the UK's exit from the European Union. In addition to President Maurer, Federal Councillors Ignazio Cassis and Karin Keller-Sutter participated in the official talks.

The second day of the state visit will be spent in French-speaking Switzerland focused on research and innovation that will include a visit to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). 

Switzerland and neighbouring Liechtenstein have formed close political and economic linksexternal link over the past century, including a customs union and more than 100 bilateral treaties. Both countries are members of the European Free Trade Association.

This year marks Liechtenstein's 300th anniversary and 100 years of bilateral relations between Switzerland and the country.

Playing host

As a rule, the Swiss government organises two state visits per year. It is the third time in the history of the two countries that Switzerland hosts the head of state of the constitutional monarchy.

Prince Alois has been head of state of the principality since his father Prince Hans-Adam II handed over power to him in 2004.

The small principalityexternal link of 160km2 (62 square miles) with a population of about 38,000 is situated between eastern Switzerland and Austria. Since 1919, Switzerland has defended the interests of Liechtenstein and its citizens in countries where the principality has no representation.

swissinfo.ch/urs

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