Chinese, Swiss foreign ministers discuss ‘paths to peace in Ukraine’

Chinese, Swiss foreign ministers discuss ‘paths to peace in Ukraine’

Wang Yi hosts his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis for 3rd round of China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks Wednesday in Beijing with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis on “paths to peace in Ukraine” as well as bilateral and other international issues.

“We discussed the innovative strategic partnership between Switzerland and China, emphasizing trade, human rights, climate, science and multilateralism,” said Cassis, who is Federal Councilor and Foreign Minister of Switzerland.

Cassis is on a two-day trip to China, where he was hosted by Wang for a third round of the China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue.

“Our dialogue also explored paths to peace in Ukraine, underscoring our commitment to global stability,” said Cassis on X.

Ukraine has been embroiled in a war with Russia since February 2022, when Moscow launched a special military operation against its neighbor. Thousands of people have been killed and wounded.

Beijing has not condemned Russia over its invasion of Ukraine but has called for respecting the territorial integrity of nations.

China reiterated its position on the Ukraine crisis Wednesday, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin saying it is "consistent and clear."

"We have played a constructive role in advocating an end to the fighting and a political settlement of the crisis. We will continue to promote peace talks and work for a political settlement of the crisis in our own way," Wang told reporters in Beijing.

- 'Time-tested exemplary relations'

Cassis also met with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng.

Foreign Minister Wang told Cassis that bilateral relations between the two countries “have stood the test of time and are exemplary.”

“The two sides agreed to continue to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, respect each other's choice of system and development path, and make good use of multiple inter-governmental dialogue and cooperation mechanisms,” said the ministry.

They affirmed their “support for the core role of the UN in international affairs and their commitment to stepping up multilateral communication and coordination,” it said.

Beijing and Bern also pledged to “deepen cooperation in fields such as finance, science and innovation, education, intellectual property rights, climate change, green development and winter sports.”

China and Switzerland are commemorating 75 years of diplomatic relations next year, and the two sides upgraded ties in 2016 to an “innovative strategic partnership” – the first such partnership China enjoys with any nation.

Beijing last month granted Switzerland unilateral visa-free treatment.

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