On December 19, Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Cassis. This is the first visit to France by the new federal councillor for foreign affairs.
The ministers lauded the high caliber of relations between our two countries, whose historic ties are dense and longstanding.
With his counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian wished to deepen the close dialogue we have in every area:
- They covered such foreign policy issues as the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which we regularly discuss with Switzerland;
- The ministers discussed various aspects of our cross-border cooperation. More than 80,000 French citizens live in Switzerland, a country that also welcomes nearly 175,000 workers across the border each day. In addition, some 200,000 Swiss citizens live in France. In this regard, Mr. Le Drian and Ignazio Cassis hailed the agreement reached on the binational Basel-Mulhouse airport, which will enter in force on January 1, 2018, as well as the excellent cross-border cooperation relating to the expansion of the Geneva cross-border metropolitan area. Switzerland is now France’s third-largest trading partner (outside of the EU), and France is Switzerland’s third-largest partner.
- Talks also dealt with relations between the EU and Switzerland, negotiations under way on an institutional agreement, and the challenges of the United Kingdom’s departure.