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Swiss and EU ministers have ‘good and friendly’ chat

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn have met in Brussels for informal exchanges. Despite the differences between Switzerland and the 27-state bloc, the tone remained amicable.

Hahn tweeted that he had enjoyed meeting Cassis on Tuesday for a “good and friendly” conversation. “Despite differing positions on certain issues, it’s important to maintain the basis of trust and to continue dialogue,” the Austrian said. “Switzerland remains an important partner of the EU.”

Cassis said the talks focused on continued cooperation on the basis of the bilateral agreements.

Relations between Switzerland and the EU deteriorated in May when the Swiss government unilaterally walked away from seven years of negotiations over an institutional framework agreement with Brussels.

The European Commission wants to give itself until the autumn to decide how to proceed with the relationship.