Cassis, currently in Iran on a three-day visit which started from the ancient city of Isfahan on Saturday, made the remarks in a ceremony to celebrate the centenary of Switzerland’s diplomatic presence in Iran, Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported.
Switzerland have also been representing the US interest section in Iran since 1979, when Iran-US diplomatic ties were cut.
Addressing the ceremony, Cassis said, “Switzerland has maintained consular services with the Islamic Republic of Iran and delivered messages quickly and reliably in the past forty years. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your trust in Switzerland during these years.”
He noted that friendly and amicable ties between Switzerland and Iran date back to 1873 when the two countries signed an alliance of friendship and trade with each other.
“Switzerland was one of the first European countries that started trade ties with Iran, while the people and governments of the two countries already had a lot of respect for each other,” said the Swiss foreign minister.
He added that it took decades for official diplomatic relations to be established between Iran and Switzerland. Switzerland opened its consulate in Tehran on June 28, 1920, he said.
According to the schedule, the top Swiss diplomat is to meet President Hassan Rouhani, his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and other Iranian high-ranking officials Monday.
Swiss parliamentarians who are among Cassis’ entourage, are to hold talks with their Iranian counterparts.
Prior to the Swiss minister’s arrival, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that Cassis and Iranian officials would not discuss Tehran-Washington tensions as the topics of their negotiations would be only about bilateral ties.