June 4, 2014 - 17:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, President of the Swiss Confederation, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter is on an official visit to Armenia. Today (June 4) Burkhalter visited the Genocide memorial in Tsitsernakaberd to commemorate the victims of the 1915 massacres.
Later, presidential residence hosted an official meeting, followed by narrow-format talks.
As President Serzh Sargsyan told a news conference after the meeting, "we discussed a wide range of issues related to Armenian-Swiss cooperation and touched upon regional problems."
The President noted that Armenia and Switzerland have substantial relations and parliamentary and diplomatic contacts between the two countries are active, Panorama.am reported.
“Switzerland has implemented programs of major importance to Armenia. We positively assessed the current level of trade cooperation between Armenia and Switzerland. Switzerland is Armenia’s fourth biggest trade partner,” Sargsyan said.
The Armenian President said that during the meeting they also discussed the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. “Constant violations of the ceasefire hinder the negotiating process,” he said.
The President further thanked Switzerland for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and adherence to protection of human rights.
Dwelling on Armenian-Turkish normalization, the President said that Turkey refused to ratify Protocols with Armenia and Ankara's illegal blockade of Armenia should be at the focus of attention of all international organizations.
Didier Burkhalter said for his part that Armenia and Switzerland have friendly relations and Switzerland aims to expand trade and economic ties with Armenia. He also said that his country is thankful to Armenia for its support to Switzerland within the OSCE.
Burkhalter stressed that Switzerland supports the OSCE Minsk Group efforts aimed at the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.