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Qatar to open embassy in Berne

Qatar currently conducts diplomatic work from mission located in a hotel in Berne

Gulf News

Manama: Qatar is set to open an embassy in the Swiss capital Berne soon, a senior Swiss official has said.

Currently, the Arabian Gulf state conducts its diplomatic work from its mission located in a hotel in Berne. Qatar also has a diplomatic mission in Geneva.

In April, Switzerland opened its embassy in the Qatari capital Doha as it is “recognising Qatar’s growing political and economic role and is thus honouring 40 years of bilateral relations”.

Swiss officials said that the embassy opening was also an opportunity for Switzerland to “strengthen its network of representations in the Arab Gulf states”.

In remarks published by Qatari daily Al Sharq on Monday, President of the Swiss Council of States (Senate) Filippo Lombardi said that there were wide opportunities for both countries to enhance their economic relations and boost their trade exchanges.

Lombardi said that the Swiss business council in Doha was active in bolstering relations.

Around 200 Swiss business people are active in Qatar, he told the daily.

Last month, Lombardi told local daily Gulf Times that his country had a keen interest in the Doha Metro project.

“There is a Swiss company which is now taking part in the bid for the Metro,” he said. “We have great experiences with tunnels. I gave His Highness the Emir a stone which came from the heart of Switzerland, where we are boring a 57km-long tunnel for a railway that will be opening in three years’ time where trains will be travelling at 230km/hour,” he said after meeting the country’s Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Switzerland and Qatar established diplomatic relations in 1973, shortly after the Gulf state became independent.

According to the Swiss embassy, Switzerland exported products worth $621 million (Dh2.2 billion) to Qatar in 2012 while its imports were valued at $241.6 million.