On September 10, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė received Walter Haffner, the new Ambassador of Switzerland to Lithuania, and discussed with him the development of political and economic partnership between the countries, as well as bilateral cooperation within international forums.
Skaisgirytė Liauškienė thanked Switzerland for financial assistance provided under a programme, which aims to reduce economic and social disparities within the European Union. The representative of Lithuania called for expanding bilateral economic ties, particularly in those niche sectors that have maximum potential for mutual economic benefit. Skaisgirytė Liauškienė called on Switzerland to participate actively in the workshop “Developing Business Relations between Switzerland and Lithuania” in Zurich on September 20.
The Vice-Minister also said that she was concerned about Switzerland’s decision to reintroduce restrictions on free movement of persons and quotas to the citizens of eight Central and Eastern European countries, including Lithuania. Skaisgirytė Liauškienė believes that it is unacceptable that the new EU member states face unequal treatment in favour of the citizens of other EU member states.
During the conversation the officials emphasized the role of both countries in multilateral forums. Already in the second half of the following year Lithuania is commencing its Presidency of the EU Council, Switzerland will chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014.