France and Switzerland
The Basel festival, which is an international showcase for contemporary creation in the performing arts field, brings together, every year, nearly 200 performing arts professionals from several countries for performances and numerous events throughout the city.
France’s political relations with Switzerland are intense because of their close geographic proximity, common history, the economic ties with the country, the French language and the longevity of our political and diplomatic ties. A sign of the quality of these relations: Switzerland had agreed to represent French interests in FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) after France broke off its diplomatic ties with Belgrade in March 1999. At Bern’s request, France, represented by its Foreign Affairs Minister, backed Switzerland’s accession to the UN on 10 September 2002.
From a political standpoint, specifically bilateral meetings are frequent, at the level of the French President (Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy met with the Swiss President, Ms. Doris Leuthard, on 27-01-2010 for a meeting alongside the World Economic Forum in Davosand received her in Paris on 21-07-2010) and the Prime Minister (Mr. Fillon met with Mr. PascalCouchepin , Federal Councillor and Head of the Department of Home Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, on 16-02-2009, meeting between Mr. Fillon and Mr. Couchepin, then President of the Confederation, on 28-11-2008, and meeting between Mr. Fillon and Mr. Couchepin on 24-01-2008 alongside the World Economic Forum in Davos).
There have also been meetings between ministers of foreign affairs and European affairs (meeting between Mr. Kouchner and Ms. Calmy-Rey in Paris on 18-03-2009). The most recent visits to Switzerland made by Budget Minister Eric Woerth (June 2009) and Minister of the Economy Christine Lagarde (August 2009) received a great deal of media attention.
Updated on 03.11.11
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