The second bilateral consultation between Bhutan and Switzerland was held on November 27 in Bern, Switzerland.

During the consultations with the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the two sides reviewed the state of bilateral relations between Bhutan and Switzerland and discussed ways and means to diversify and strengthen existing relations including exchange between academic institutions, cultural exchanges and private sector partnerships.

Views on regional organisations, the United Nations, and other international organizations were also exchanged. The two sides committed to enhance cooperation in the regional and international fora with a view to promoting shared interests.

The Bhutanese delegation also called on the vice president of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Parliament, and met with the Deputy State Secretary and the Board Members of the Society-Switzerland Bhutan (SSB).

Relations between Bhutan and Switzerland dates back to the close personal friendship between Late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and the Von Schulthess family of Zurich in the 1950s, following which formal diplomatic relations was established on 16 September 1985.

Switzerland was an important development partner of Bhutan for four decades. Its assistance to Bhutan was in the areas of democratic governance, judiciary, participatory forest management and local government.

The Bhutanese delegation was led by Sonam Tshong, foreign secretary, and included the ambassador and permanent representative of Bhutan to the United Nations in Geneva, director general of Department of Bilateral Affairs and other senior government officials.

The Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Assistant State Secretary for Asia and Pacific, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Staff reporter