On 1 August, H. E. Mr. Raymund Furrer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation to the Republic of Bulgaria,

and his wife - Mrs. Claude Furrer-Choueiri, gave a reception at their residence on the occasion of the national holiday of the country. Ministers and MPs, ambassadors and diplomats, representatives of the scientific and cultural spheres, friends of Switzerland attended.

The day of the founding of the Confederation, August 1, 1291, is a source of pride and celebration for every Swiss. The welcoming remarks to the attendees of H. E. Mr. Raimund Furrer explain why:

It is a great honor and pleasure to mark, this year again, the 731st Swiss National day.

The Confederation was founded in 1291 when a historic alliance was concluded by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. People swore eternal allegiance to one another, promising mutual help and assistance in difficult times. In 1848 the federal state, as we know it today, was created. 

Switzerland has no common language, no common religion. What it has is a common will that holds all the 26 cantons together. The German-speaking and the French-speaking Swiss, the Italian-speaking and the Rhaeto-Romans, they all form a nation in order to enjoy a maximum of political freedom – to be used wisely to the benefit of all.

For several years already, we live in unprecedented times for our generation – marred by worst case scenarios that became reality, close-by and afar: pandemic, war in Europe, refugees, inflation, growing disparities, or economic as well as political turmoil and uncertainty. Looking into the future, huge challenges are waiting for us, to manage these new realities and to tackle head on also others, like the climate crisis.

On this, we are sitting in the same boat. Times of crisis are moments to remember what we have in common and that together we best find a way out:

Shared values, keeping the common good in focus, solidarity, coordination and collaboration and jointly looking for solutions are core concepts. Recognizing and building on the many positives also.

Switzerland stands ready to play its part and take up responsibility. For example, we are pleased that from next year on we can contribute to the UN Security Council. Our good offices to find solutions are available. Our humanitarian and other assistance are significant. 

Switzerland is a small country, yet in some areas quite a power-house. I am thinking of its innovation and research capacity that can significantly contribute to greater endeavors in different fields - when collaboration can function freely. 

As Ambassador of Switzerland to Bulgaria I am extremely pleased that our two countries enjoy excellent relations, and that proponents on either side have achieved quite many things. Our trade and investments contribute to jobs and welfare; in the field of science top-notch research is connected; and our bilateral cohesion program will allow us to contribute to the development in important areas in Bulgaria. We look forward to committing all our efforts in this regard. 

After the Ambassador's speech the guests enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere created by the hosts in the pleasant coolness of the garden of the residence. Everything whispered of Switzerland - from the irresistible chocolates to the raclette cheese. The mood was also elevated by the musical performances of Das Weltschmerzduett.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in Bulgaria.