Cooperation in Foreign and Security Policy: State Secretary Alexandre Fasel meets EU counterpart Stefano Sannino

Press releases, 21.11.2023

State Secretary Alexandre Fasel was received by the secretary-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Stefano Sannino, in Brussels on 21 November for the biannual consultations on foreign and security policy. In this context, Mr Fasel and Mr Sannino agreed to establish a structured dialogue on security and defence, with the aim of strengthening cooperation in this area. They also discussed the topic of cooperation and solidarity in response to current crises, and exchanged views on various multilateral issues.

View of the entrance of the European External Action Service building.
Regulated relations between Switzerland and the EU are important. © Audiovisual Service EC

The discussions held in Brussels focused on the current geopolitical situation, in particular the conflict in the Middle East and Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Switzerland maintains a significant engagement in these two regions, where it collaborates closely with the EU. European integration of the Western Balkans and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh were also on the agenda.

The consultations also focused on close cooperation between Switzerland and the EU during Switzerland's term of office on the UN Security Council, which runs until the end of 2024. Mr Fasel and Mr Sannino reaffirmed the role of multilateral organisations in the search for diplomatic solutions to maintain and promote international stability.

Strengthening of security and defence policy consultations in a structured framework 

In an international context marked by a number of simultaneous conflicts and the need for greater cooperation between partners sharing the same values, Switzerland and the EU have decided to strengthen their dialogue on security and defence policy. Mr Fasel and Mr Sannino agreed on this pattern today in Brussels.

The consultations, which are held twice a year, will take place for the first time in their new format on 27 November 2023. They will enable a regular political exchange on all areas of security cooperation between Switzerland and the EU, ensuring consistent follow-up on the various dossiers.

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