Switzerland and Norway emphasise common values and interests

Press releases, 07.02.2024

President Viola Amherd met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on Wednesday, 7 February to discuss bilateral relations, the European policy of both countries and the security situation on the continent. A further topic of the talks was trade policy within the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). An exchange with King Harald V is planned for Thursday, 8 February.

The ties between Switzerland and Norway have deep historical roots. Both sides acknowledged this and emphasised their shared values and interests also in the present. In addition to the role of EFTA in a dynamic free trade policy, President Amherd and Prime Minister Gahr Støre discussed their countries’ good bilateral economic relations and lively exchange in the area of research and development as well as on climate protection. Switzerland and Norway also work together on promoting human rights, on issues such as human security and development, and in consular affairs.

A central theme of the meeting between Ms Amherd and Mr Gahr Støre was the security situation on the European continent and, in particular, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. As on the previous day in Estonia, Ms Amherd emphasised that a major commitment by the international community was required in order to lay the foundations for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine. In this context, she underlined Switzerland's intention to organise a summit on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's peace plan. Aid for the Ukrainian civilian population and reconstruction were also discussed.

Other topics included the European policy of both countries, the situation in the Middle East and the global security architecture. Ms Amherd acknowledged the efforts of the Norwegian chair of the Arctic Council to foster the organisation as a forum for cooperation despite geopolitical tensions. Switzerland has had observer status since 2017, which allows it to participate in the organisation's meetings and working groups. As polar research and high-altitude research in the Alps are closely related, Switzerland is sometimes referred to in this area of research as the ‘vertical Arctic nation’.

Ms Amherd also met with the president of the Norwegian parliament, Masud Gharahkhani, on Wednesday. An audience with King Harald V on Thursday will conclude her official visit to Norway.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Norway

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