Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis (centre), Christoph Graf (right), Commander of the Swiss Guard, and Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State for the Vatican (left) attend the official opening of the Swiss embassy to the Holy See in Rome on April 19, 2023. Cc 3.0 By-nc-sa
Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has officially opened the new Swiss embassy to the Holy See in the Vatican. Since 2014, Swiss diplomatic links with the Vatican had been conducted through the Swiss ambassador in Slovenia. This content was published on April 20, 2023 April 20, 2023 Keystone-SDA/RTS/sb
Cassis attended a ceremony at the new Vatican embassy in May 2022 when the Swiss premises were presented to the public to mark the start of renovations. But the representation is now fully operational and the official opening took place on Wednesday.
The embassy, which will also deal with relations with Malta and San Marino, serves to“maximise the potential for bilateral and international cooperation in key areas for Switzerland's foreign policy and to respond to an increase in diplomatic activities in recent years”, the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statementexternal link .
+ ceremony marks new swiss embassy to holy see
The Vatican's diplomatic network now extends to more than 90 countries.
In his speech, Cassis highlighted the ties uniting Switzerland and the Vatican: Italian is one of the four national languages in the Alpine state, and there is a common culture and Christian values.
+ switzerland's cautious relationship with the vaticanexternal link
Switzerland is also connected to the Vatican by the Papal Swiss Guard, founded by Pope Julius II in 1506, who are responsible for the security of the Pope and perform honorary services.
+ the swiss soldiers guarding the pope
The opening of the Swiss embassy is one of a number of official duties and meetings during Cassis's three-day visit to Rome, which began on Wednesday. He is expected to hold talks with officials of the Holy See and the Italian government, including the secretary of state of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.Cassis is also due to meet his Italian counterpart, Antonio Tajani, and economy and finance minister, Giancarlo Giorgetti. They are expected to discuss bilateral relations, the war in Ukraine, Switzerland's non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Swiss–EU relations and financial relations between the two countries.
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