Official visit by Turkmen President to Switzerland

Bern, 08.10.2012 - President of the Swiss Confederation Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf received the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for an official visit in Lohn mansion in Kehrsatz near Bern on 8 October 2012. Several members of the Turkmen government as well as Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA), took part in the talks, which focused on bilateral relations, multilateral cooperation and various regional topics.

Switzerland and Turkmenistan have gradually strengthened and deepened their relations in recent years. This was the first official visit to Switzerland by a Turkmen president. Apart from business representatives and members of the civil service, the Turkmen delegation included Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, Foreign Trade Minister Bayar Abayev and the head of the Central Bank Tuvakmammet Japarov.

The main agenda items were bilateral relations and cooperation in multilateral bodies. Turkmenistan is a member of Switzerland's constituency (i.e. voting group) in the Bretton-Woods Institutions (IMF and World Bank), in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, (EBRD) and the Global Environment Facility, (GEF). Both sides stressed their wish to intensify bilateral relations, especially in the economic field.

The two delegations also discussed the current political and economic situation in Turkmenistan and in Switzerland. A part of the talks was devoted to human rights policies in each country.

Following the talks, four agreements were signed: a double taxation agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two foreign ministries, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Institute of International Relations of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland -- Russia/CIS and the Turkmenistan chamber of industry.

After the official talks, the Turkmen delegation met the President of the National Council Hansjörg Walter in the Palais Federal.

Further information:
Brigitte Hauser-Süess, head of Communication FDF, Tel. +41 79 292 08 77

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
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