Mr Cassis welcomed his guest on Monte Generoso overlooking Lake Lugano. The two ministers previously met in November 2022 when Mr Cassis paid an official visit to Valletta in his capacity as president of the Swiss Confederation.
Mr Cassis and Mr Borg also discussed the UN Security Council. Like Switzerland, Malta has a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the 2023–24 period. The two ministers discussed Switzerland's forthcoming presidency of the Security Council in May. Malta held the presidency in February this year. Malta is a key partner in Switzerland's commitment to peace and security. The two countries are cooperating on efforts to counter the impact of climate change as a driver of conflict and promote the role of women as actors for peace.
Bilateral and EU cooperation
Relations between Switzerland and the EU were also on the agenda. Mr Cassis referred to the in-depth exploratory talks currently taking place between Switzerland and the EU in line with the Federal Council's objective to stabilise and develop the bilateral approach. In this context, Mr Cassis mentioned his meeting with European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič on 15 March in Bern.
The two ministers also discussed the subject of migration and asylum and in particular the reform of the Schengen/Dublin systems, currently under discussion in the EU.
The two ministers also discussed the agreement between Switzerland and Malta which Mr Cassis signed in November during his visit to Valletta. The bilateral agreement governs the implementation of Switzerland's second contribution (CHF 1.3 billion over ten years) to certain EU member states – an investment in Europe's stability, security and prosperity. The agreement sets out the thematic focus areas for cooperation between Switzerland and Malta and provides for CHF 3.5 million in project funding until 2029. Swiss–Maltese cooperation will primarily be focused on healthcare.
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