Both Foreign Ministers took the opportunity of the meeting to discuss bilateral relations. Switzerland and Hungary have long fostered intensive relations in a wide range of political, economic, scientific and cultural areas. For example, Hungary is one of Switzerland's most important partner states in Central Europe in terms of trade and direct investment. Other examples of the close bilateral relations between Switzerland and Hungary are the cooperation of both countries in granting Schengen visas and the successful implementation of the funding-commitment period within the scope of Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement.
As part of its enlargement contribution, Switzerland has pledged CHF 130.7 million to support Hungary. By the expiry of the funding-commitment period on 14 June 2012, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) had committed 100% of these funds for 37 projects. More than 40% of the enlargement contribution is allocated to structurally weak regions of Hungary. As Federal Councillor Burkhalter noted, implementation of the authorised projects has got off to a good start. The priority for Switzerland is to ensure that disadvantaged and marginalised groups are able to benefit from the enlargement contribution, he added.
The talks also covered current issues concerning Swiss and Hungarian policy, the European policy of both countries, and various questions relating to multilateral cooperation. Federal Councillor Burkhalter also discussed Switzerland's chairmanship of the OECD in 2014 and Switzerland's activities in the context of the United Nations. Finally, both ministers also discussed international affairs such as the situation in Syria and Iran, and in North Africa.
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