This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
David Lidington, Minister for Europe, met President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, during his visit to Switzerland on 22 October. Talks focussed on Swiss-EU relations and on the OSCE, particularly resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
Head of the OSCE task force, Ambassador Heidi Grau also attended. Mr Lidington was received by President Burkhalter at the Maison de Watteville for discussions over lunch. Commenting after the meeting, Mr Lidington said:
I am delighted to be back in Switzerland and grateful to President Burkhalter for his hospitality and our constructive talks today.” “The UK and Switzerland enjoy a close political and economic relationship. Trade between our two countries was worth £ 28 billion in 2012, when Switzerland bought UK services worth £ 9.1 billion – more than all BRIC states combined.
Today we discussed Swiss-EU relations, the important work of the OSCE in Ukraine, the need for a step-change in the international response to the Ebola crisis and counter-terrorism cooperation.
Looking ahead to the OSCE Ministerial in Basel, I thanked President Burkhalter for his leadership in responding to the Ukraine crisis and undermined the UK’s commitment to the OSCE’s expanded Special Monitoring Mission.