Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Jordan are excellent and have become closer in recent years. The King and the Queen of Jordan travel regularly to Switzerland. Numerous mutual visits have taken place in recent years, mainly on the margins of international conferences. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis made a working visit to Jordan in May 2018.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Jordan
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
In 2017, Switzerland and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate regular political consultations. Jordan is the main area for the operations carried out by Swiss Humanitarian Aid in the region. The regional Swiss cooperation office in Amman oversees projects in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
Swiss companies from the pharmaceutical, tourism and hospitality sectors operate in Jordan. Numerous companies with business contacts in Switzerland are members of the Swiss–Jordanian Business Club, founded in 2006 at the initiative of the Swiss embassy.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers and artists from Jordan can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The current regional cooperation strategy for the Middle East, which focuses on addressing the effects of the Syrian crisis, provides the framework for Switzerland's engagement in the coming years. Since the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in 2011, Switzerland has provided over CHF 438 million for humanitarian aid and to strengthen the resilience of people in need (status: end of 2019). Half of the funds have been allocated to support and protect the affected persons in Syria and half to assist the neighbouring countries Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, which have taken in the majority of Syrian refugees.
Since 2004, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and a Jordanian partner institution have run an annual exchange programme that facilitates residencies for artists from Switzerland and Jordan.
Swiss nationals in Jordan
In 2018, there were 300 Swiss nationals living in Jordan, over half of whom were dual citizens.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised the Kingdom of Jordan in 1949. The Swiss embassy in Amman was opened in 1970 and a Swiss cooperation office in 2001. Until 2008, Jordan was a priority country for SECO's economic cooperation. The Jordanian ruling couple is involved in various World Economic Forum projects (Queen Rania is a member of the Board of Trustees).
In 1812, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss geographer, rediscovered the ancient city of Petra, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.