President Parmelin holds political talks on the fringes of Expo Dubai
Bern, 29.10.2021 - On Friday, 29 October, while on his trip to the Middle East, President Guy Parmelin met high-ranking representatives of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He held talks with the Minister of Finance, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Minister of Tolerance und Commissioner-General for Expo Dubai, Sheikh Nayan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, and the Minster of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri. Among the key topics discussed were economic and financial relations between Switzerland and the UAE, cooperation in the fields of education, science and innovation, and regional political developments.
Both sides highlighted the long-standing close ties between Switzerland and the UAE. The UAE is one of Switzerland's most important trading partners in the Middle East and North Africa region. Mr Parmelin underlined the additional opportunities arising from the free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which entered into force in 2014. Furthermore, links between Swiss and Emirati institutions in the fields of education, research and innovation are growing. International issues were also discussed, including the normalisation of relations between the UAE and Israel.
During the talks, Mr Parmelin also praised the World Expo in Dubai, which has been successfully staged despite the difficult conditions of the global pandemic. This is the first world exhibition held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and also the first to be held by an Arab country. Mr Parmelin took part in the Expo Swiss Nation Day on Friday. He had previously visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, on Thursday.
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