Swiss congratulate state of Israel

The Swiss government has sent congratulations to Israel on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state.

This content was published on May 7, 2008 minutes

In a letter published on Wednesday President Pascal Couchepin assured Israel of Switzerland's support in efforts for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Couchepin also pointed out the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries and recalled that Switzerland hosted the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897.

However, Israel did not invite a Swiss cabinet minister to the anniversary celebrations next week.

Relations with Israel have been strained over Switzerland's policy in the Middle East and a natural gas deal with Iran.

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