Swiss army conducts a military training exercise © Keystone / Christian Beutler
On Thursday the Swiss army chief, Thomas Süssli, presented the Army Message of 2023 at an armoury in Thun, canton Bern. Süssli said that beyond air force and special forces, ground troops should also take part in joint trainings with NATO troops. This content was published on March 24, 2023 March 24, 2023 minutes Keystone-SDA/aa
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More Swiss defence minister says NATO open to closer ties
This content was published on Mar 22, 2023 Mar 22, 2023
Swiss defence minister Viola Amherd has held talks with NATO leaders to boost cooperation with the western alliance.
Questions arose in regard to Swiss cooperation with NATO's Article 5 exercises, the so-called assistance clause in which NATO member states pledge assistance if another member state is attacked. Süssli did not rule out participation in the Article 5 exercises, justifying possible participation by stating the importance of understanding the operational procedures and structures through joint trainings.
However, the Social Democratic Party and the Swiss People's Party did not agree with Süssli's comments, according to media reports.
“At some point NATO will say it's time to stop cherry-picking,” said Mauro Tuena from the People's Party.“Then, of course, it's over with neutrality.”In February the Swiss Federal Council passed a budget increase for the military to CHF21.7 billion ($23.5 billion) over a four-year period, and has already agreed to intensifying cooperation with NATO. However, the Swiss defence minister, Viola Amherd, has not addressed Switzerland's participation in NATO's Article 5 exercises.
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