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Switzerland travels for the first time at the G-20 summit – thanks to Saudi Arabia

a Big Surprise in the Federal house: The king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, has invited Switzerland, in the whole year program of the G-20 to participate. Because Saudi Arabia on 1. December has assumed for one year the chairmanship of the "group of Twenty", it determines the list of participants.

The rise of Switzerland into the exclusive G-20 Club, about the previously, nothing was known, is confirmed by the speaker of the Federal Council. "Switzerland has to thank for the invitation and accepted," explains André Simonazzi on request. The king has his invitation to the 22. October in a letter to the Federal President Ueli Maurer . "The Federal Council is delighted about the invitation," says Simonazzi.

Federal councillor Ueli Maurer met at the end of October with the Saudi crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The invitation to the G-20 summit, he had at that time already in the bag. Photo: Twitter.

The climax is the G-20 summit, the heads of state and government of the twenty most important economic powers in November 2020 to Riyadh. And this Time to also sit for the first time a Swiss woman at the table with Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, et cetera. Switzerland Simonetta Sommaruga , which is elected at the next Wednesday to the new President for the year 2020 is represented.

Switzerland is one of the three guest countries, which were selected from Saudi Arabia, only. The other two are Jordan and Singapore. Unlike the G-20 members and guests have no voting rights, but can meet at a total of more than 100 Ministers, working group meetings and other preparation for meetings.

on Wednesday in Riyadh for the first Meeting of the Sherpas, as the chief negotiator of the G-20 governments will be called. As a Sherpa of the Federal Council, Eric Scheidegger was used, the Deputy Director of the state Secretariat for economic Affairs.

Switzerland has been fighting for years to influence

the Power of The G-20, Switzerland to feel yourself already negative. The G-20 was to put the automatic exchange of information by the press and the Swiss Bank secret of the death shock.

What concrete Decisions are expected this year from the G-20, is still unclear. The official G-20 Agenda, the Saudis contains primary gummige General courts. A key issue from a Swiss perspective, the global restructuring of company taxation, which is currently being driven by the OECD on behalf of the G-20, however. Depending on the design of the new tax regime, Switzerland could lose several billion Swiss francs in tax revenue.

Simonetta Sommargua, Switzerland will be represented at the G-20 summit. Photo: Nicole Philipp,

Because of such issues, Switzerland has been fighting for years to have influence in the unofficial world government, as manifested in the G-20. A first foot in the door they got in 2013, when she was able to participate at the invitation of Russia for the first Time in the discussions of the G-20 Finance Ministers.

in the last four years, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer was in the round of G-20 Finance Ministers, but never on a G-20 summit. This is despite the fact the Federal Council indicates that the Swiss economy is already one of the twenty largest in the world.

And the murder of Khashoggi?

Spicy is that Switzerland gets her invitation, of all places, Saudi Arabia. The G-20 presidency, of the autocratically ruled state, is attracting international criticism for its war in Yemen, due to its systematic violations of the human rights and because of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The regime-critical Journalist was murdered in October 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. A UN special Rapporteur, qualified the murder as a "deliberate, premeditated execution" and called for investigations against crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman – the man so that is now guiding for a year, the G-20.

Also between Switzerland and Saudi Arabia came in the last months of severe tension. As a reaction to the Khashoggi-murder, the Department of Economic Affairs had taken in October 2018 measures against Saudi Arabia: under the direction of Johann Schneider-Ammann (FDP) stopped the re-export of components for air defence systems, which had been repaired in Switzerland.

armed for war material

The decision led to strong criticism of Saudi Arabia. On 4. July 2019 picked up the new economy Minister, Guy Parmelin the Export ban on the grounds that there was no legal basis. Only then, Saudi Arabia was ready to welcome the Swiss state Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl for the annual political dialogue.

miss sounds, it was also because of the support services, the Stans aircraft manufacturer Pilatus provides for the Saudi air force. The Department of foreign Affairs came in June to the conclusion that these services were illegal. Pilate resists. The case is before the Federal administrative court.

in Spite of such tensions, German President Maurer traveled at the end of October surprisingly to Riyadh. That Mason had to this time, the invitation to the G-20 summit has already been a week in the bag, learned at the time, nobody.

Created: 03.12.2019, 20:37 Uhr

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