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Swiss FM and EAM of India Meet in New Delhi to Bolster Ties

On February 5, 2024, in New Delhi, the External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, met with H.E. Mr. Ignazio Cassis, the Foreign Minister of Switzerland. The leaders had talks about how to improve the two countries’ bilateral relations. Additionally, the leaders discussed and exchanged viewpoints on regional and global issues.

Following the 75th anniversary celebrations of the friendship treaty between Switzerland and India last year, EAM Jaishankar posted on X about his meeting with Cassis, discussing a number of topics related to cooperation and collaboration. H.E. Mr. Ignazio Cassis paid India a visit in 2018 to commemorate the friendship between Switzerland and India, reaching its 70th year.

EAM Dr. S Jaishankar posted on X, following the meeting with Cassis, “Pleased to welcome @ignaziocassis of Switzerland this afternoon. Discussed further strengthening of our bilateral ties after celebrations of the 75th year of the India-Switzerland friendship treaty last year. Exchanged perspectives on regional and international issues, including the conflict in Ukraine. Thank him for the ‘Mission to the Sun’ Swatch gift. Through Aditya L1 Mission, India is living up to it”.

Both ministers looked at ways to improve bilateral relations between Switzerland and India during their conversations. The ‘Mission to the Sun’ Swatch, a present from the Swiss Foreign Minister, was acknowledged with appreciation from EAM Dr. S Jaishankar. In honour of the legendary Speedmaster Moonwatch—the first watch ever worn on the moon—OMEGA X Swatch represents the partnership between Swatch and OMEGA. With a sun-brushed golden-coloured dial, a white velcro strap, and orange highlights on the chronograph’s hands, subdials, and tachymeter scale, the ‘Mission to Sun’ Swatch is a brilliant sun-yellow model. Eleven versions in all, each named after a planetary body in the solar system, combine essential OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch design components with cutting-edge bioceramic material.

EAM Dr. S Jaishankar took use of the occasion to emphasise India’s commitment to scientific efforts and space research, especially through the Aditya L1 Mission. India accomplished a major milestone in September when it placed the Aditya-L1 spacecraft into the Halo orbit, its first dedicated solar mission. Following the momentous moon landing mission, Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its maiden solar mission.

Since India’s independence, the two countries have enjoyed amicable and friendly relations based on a common respect for democracy and the rule of law. The non-alignment strategy of India and the conventional neutrality stance of Switzerland resulted in a close understanding between the two nations. Not long after India gained independence, Switzerland established diplomatic ties with the country. On August 14, 1948, in New Delhi, India and Switzerland signed the Treaty of Friendship, marking a significant turning point in the history of Indo-Swiss relations and one of the first such treaties signed by an independent India.

Diplomatic missions were opened in Berne and Delhi shortly after the treaty’s provisions for their establishment were made clear. Bangalore and Mumbai are home to the Consulates General of Switzerland. In Geneva, there is an Indian Consulate General. India and Switzerland decided to form a Privileged Partnership to recognise the development of their multifaceted bilateral relations over the course of several decades and to identify areas of shared interest and collaboration.

At the ‘SwitzerlandIndia in Bloom’ event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the friendship treaty in 2023 between Switzerland and India, Swiss Ambassador Ralf Heckner stated that amicable and peaceful relations, such as those between the two nations, are the way to go, particularly in the current era. The event, which included a special Swiss Art Night, highlighted the enduring ideals of harmony, peace, and the arts and creative cooperation that have defined this incredible relationship.