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On 13 February 2020, Valery Mitskevich, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, met with Andreas Aebi, the First Vice President of the National Council of the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation, in the House of Representatives.
The parties held a conversation of mutual interest during which they exchanged views on the state and prospects of developing bilateral cooperation.
Valery Mitskevich noted the special role of inter-parliamentary cooperation in the process of deepening Belarusian-Swiss relations, calling the visit of the Swiss delegation to the Republic of Belarus an evidence of the mutual interest of both countries to build a constructive dialogue and long-term relations in all the fields. The first official visit in history of bilateral relations to Switzerland in 2018 by Vladimir Andreichenko, the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, was also a great example in this regard.
The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives expressed hope for the implementation of the return visit of the President of the National Council of the Swiss Parliament to the Republic of Belarus.
Valery Mitskevich stressed the importance of the activities of the parliamentary friendship groups, which are a platform for discussing new proposals that can give an additional impetus to the development of interstate cooperation. Furthermore, he noted that the new Convocation of the Belarusian Parliament has already established a parliamentary friendship group with Switzerland, headed by Andrei Savinykh, the Chairperson of the Standing Commission of the House of Representatives on International Affairs.
Mikhail Orda, the Chairperson of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus and former head of the parliamentary friendship group with Switzerland, who was also present at the meeting, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Swiss parliamentarians for their active work to increase bilateral cooperation.
The Belarusian parliamentarians also thanked their Swiss colleagues for endorsing some positions of Belarus and encouraged the continuation of constructive interaction and mutual support of initiatives by the parliamentary delegations of Belarus and Switzerland in the PACE, as well as the OSCE PA.
In turn, Andreas Aebi confirmed the interest of the parliamentary friendship group “Switzerland — Belarus”, of which he is a co-chair,
in activating inter-parliamentary contacts, and stressed that the countries have
a good potential for cooperation.
Former co-chair of the parliamentary friendship group “Switzerland — Belarus” and the Chairperson of the newly established Association of friendship “Switzerland — Belarus” Margareta Kiener Nellen thanked the Belarusian colleagues for their joint work and announced the holding of the first General meeting of the Association in May 2020 in Bern, where the promising cooperation projects planned for implementation in close cooperation with inter-parliamentary friendship groups will be discussed.
In addition, the parties drew attention to the need of deepening the interregional format of the Belarusian-Swiss cooperation and suggested considering the possibility of participation of parliamentarians of both countries in the meetings of the Joint Committee on trade, economic and investment cooperation.
From the Belarusian side the meeting was attended by Andrei Savinykh, Chairperson of the Standing Commission of the House of Representatives on International Affairs, Irina Ryneiskaya, Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Commission on Education, Culture and Science, Mikhail Orda, Chairperson of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, and Pavel Matsukevich, Chargé d’Affaires of the Rebuplic of Belarus in the Swiss Confederation.All news