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President Karis: Estonia, Switzerland partner nations with shared values

President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd with President Alar Karis at Kadriorg.
President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd with President Alar Karis at Kadriorg. Source: Office of the President of the Republic/Raigo Pajula

Estonia and Switzerland share common values and visions, making clearer harmonization between the two countries and between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation a desirable goal, President Alar Karis says.

The president said: "Estonia and Switzerland are partners with similar values."

"We both believe that it is possible and necessary to better regulate the relations between the EU and Switzerland, especially the set of rules concerning the internal market, this would give the citizens of the EU and Switzerland mutually better opportunities to further strengthen cooperation," the Estonian head of state continued, via a press release.

President Karis was speaking after an official visit to Kadriorg from President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd (pictured), one of the heads of state of Switzerland, on the first foreign visit of her presidency. 

"I hope that the negotiations of the new cooperation framework agreement can be started in the near future," the Estonian president said during the meeting.

Estonia and Switzerland are active advocates of international law, continue to support Ukraine and the peace process initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and as such welcome Switzerland's decision to host the summit of the peace process, President Karis said.

A financing agreement signed between Switzerland and Estonia, which supports the integration and species richness program in Estonia, a training programs for war refugees from Ukraine, and innovative monitoring solutions within the biodiversity program were other areas which President Karis highlighted in terms of the two countries being on the same page.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) also met with President of the Swiss Confederation Amherd while the latter was in Tallinn, and noted that it had been a "Good opportunity to discuss enhancing relations between Estonia and Switzerland, including cyber cooperation."

Elected for a one-year term, the president of the Swiss Confederation is a "first among equals" head of that country's seven-member Federal Council, its executive branch and collective head of state and government.

President Amherd, of the center-right party The Center (Die Mitte/Le Centre/Il Centro/Allianza dal Center), is also head of the departments of defense and of civil protection.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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