Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi received Didier Burkhalter, the Councillor for Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, at the Farnesina today.
The meeting confirmed their shared intention to strengthen relations between the two countries, not least in terms of bilateral trade. Italy is Switzerland’s second trading partner, and Switzerland is our third. The two Ministers reiterated their shared intention to further strengthen bilateral relations, especially by taking forward common infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors. In this context, the negotiations to amend the Double Taxation Agreement were mentioned, with further meetings by experts from the two countries scheduled to take place.
During their discussion, Minister Terzi reiterated to Burkhalter Italy’s encouragement for the Swiss Confederation to establish evermore constructive relations with the European Union.
Lastly, the two Ministers exchanged views on key issues on the international agenda. The focus here was on the crisis situations in the Middle East and Africa, and the international community’s commitment in the field of respect for human rights. On this topic, Minister Terzi underscored the priority status Italy attributes to human rights and the protection of freedom of religion. He reminded his Swiss colleague of the numerous initiatives promoted by Italy in the United Nations and European Union on these issues.