Swiss Embassy Celebrates 25th Anniversary with a Series of Events
Albanian Daily News
Published September 13, 2017
This year marks 25 years since the opening of the first Embassy of Switzerland in August 1992 in Tirana. An anniversary event took place at the Center for Openness and Dialo-gue at Prime Minister's Office with discussions and greetings by diplomats and government representatives from both countries.
The event focused on 25 years of Swiss Presence and Development Cooperation in Albania and praised Swiss-Albanian relations.Swiss Ambassador Graf emphasized the strong ties between Switzerland and Al-bania and Albania's progress during these years. "Albania is engaged in a dynamic reform agenda and committed to move forward. That is one reason and a good reason that Switzerland continues to support Al-bania on its path towards European integration", Swiss Ambassador Graf promised.
Two former Swiss diplomats, Christian Schmed, Deputy Head of Mission from 1992 to 1997 and Francis Cousin, Swiss Ambassador from 2000-2002 shared with the audience their memories and experiences con-firming Albania's fast progress.
The event continued with panel discussion on achievements and challenges of the Swiss development co-operation in the last 25 years. The panel included the outgoing Minister of Urban Development, Eglantina Gjermeni, Mayor of ShkodraVoltanaAdemi,and the UN Resident Coordinator Brian Williams.
The evening ended with a reception for the diplomatic corps to celebrate the bilateral relations between the two countries. Minister of Foreign Affairs, DitmirBushati as well as Assistant State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs, Nicolas Brühl spoke about the friendly relationship between the two countries. "Today,around 250,000 people living in Switzerland have ties to the Albanian language area. These human ties have paved the way for our bilateral relations to develop", stated Nicolas Brühl.
Switzerland is the third biggest bilateral donor in Albania. Swiss government started to support Albania in the early 1990s by providing humanitarian aid. Since the opening of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Tirana in 1997 Switzerland is supporting Albania's transition with a steadily growing, full-fledged programme in four different domains through with more than 20 Mio. CHF per year.
During the celebration the Swiss music duo Timorosso played the Alphorn, a traditional Swiss music instru-ment and a photo exhibition from Roland Tasho showed successful examples of Swiss people living in Albania as well as Albanians living in Switzerland.
The celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Swiss Embassy continue tomorrow, 13th of September with an event focusing on strengthening of economic ties between the two countries and will end on the 14th of September with the Premiere of the Swiss-Albanian film 'Dealing with the Past' and a panel discussion on the topic.