site.btaPresident Radev Meets with Swiss Counterpart in Bern

President Radev Meets with Swiss Counterpart in Bern
President Radev Meets with Swiss Counterpart in Bern
Presidents Rumen Radev of Bulgaria and Viola Amherd of Switzerland meet in Bern, May 27, 2024 (Photo: the Bulgarian President's Administration)

Education, science and high technology remain the priorities of Bulgaria's cooperation with Switzerland, according to the two countries' presidents, Rumen Radev and Viola Amherd. They had a one-on-one meeting in Bern on Monday during Radev's working visit to Switzerland at Amherd's invitation. Later in the day, the two led plenary talks between national delegations of Bulgaria and Switzerland, Radev's Press Secretariat reported.

The presidents shared the view that the two countries have excellent relations, and their joint projects have a positive impact in areas of shared interest. Radev thanked for Switzerland's support for education in Bulgaria, which he said is a key sector for the nation's future, and underscored his country's achievements in dual training (education and apprenticeship).

The second stage of a bilateral Framework Agreement envisages CHF 92.5 million in Swiss aid to Bulgaria between 2024 and 2029 in the field of education, science, research, high technology, security, migration and civil society, the press release said.

An excellent example of fine bilateral cooperation in the area of research is the Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology (INSAIT), which was established in 2022 as an arm of Sofia University. INSAIT is a partner to Switzerland's top two technology universities, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). INSAIT is a one-of-a-kind institution in Eastern Europe which has become an important centre for science, research and exchange of young scientists, Radev said.

Furthermore, Bulgaria is interested in Switzerland's experience in providing government support to promote healthy living and sports among young people, he told his host.

According to Radev, Switzerland is an important partner not only to Bulgaria but to the entire European Union, with which it maintains vigorous trade and economic relations and shares common values and culture. Sofia supports this partnership in all domains in the best interests of the citizens of the EU and Switzerland, he said.

The two presidents see a need to strengthen the multilateral instruments of cooperation within the United Nations and other international organizations and formats. In connection with Switzerland's status as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Radev called for enhancing the role of the world body in preventing conflicts and finding prompt solutions to them. He stressed the importance of maintaining the legitimacy of international institutions, so that the public has no doubts about their actions and decisions.

Taking a journalist's question about the upcoming Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland's Burgenstock Resort, June 15-16, Radev described it as a crucial first step towards starting a dialogue for peace. He congratulated Switzerland on its engagement. Radev finds it important to talk not just about weapons but about peace. He and Amherd shared the opinion that practical results are hardly possible at this point without the presence of one of the sides to the military conflict, and it is essential to have the maximum possible number of countries involved.

While in Bern, the Bulgarian president talked with the management of aerospace manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft. Bulgaria has Pilatus PC-9M airplanes, which have been very useful in training Air Force pilots, the press release said. The president and the company discussed possibilities to provide maintenance for the planes. They considered the prospects for cooperation in training Bulgarian pilots to fly F-16 fighters which are being supplied from the United States, and opportunities for industrial cooperation.

/PP/

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By 14:51 on 18.06.2024 Today`s news

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