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Friendly neighbour Austria promises to help in Swiss-EU row

Swiss president Berset and Austrian Chancellor Kurz before a painting shaking hands

Berset (left) met Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, other members of the Austrian government and the President Van der Bellen during his two-day state visit to Vienna 

(Keystone)

The Austrian president, Alexander van der Bellen, has pledged to support Switzerland in a dispute with the European Union over a planned limitation of its stock exchange access.

Van der Bellen said Austria would help neighbouring Switzerland to find a solution in negotiations with Brussels.

He was speaking during a visit by the Swiss president, Alain Berset, to Vienna, earlier this week.

For his part, Berset said 2018 would be a crucial year for Switzerland’s relations with the 28-nation bloc.

He said Austria's authorities informed him about their political priorities for when the country takes over the EU presidency in the second half of this year.

Both presidents stressed the close economic, cultural and social relations between the two alpine countries, which are both neutral. But Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

During his two-day state visit, Berset also met members of the Austrian government, as well as representatives of Vienna-based international organisations, including the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug


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