GENEVA Ė United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began on Saturday an official visit to Switzerland, the first such visit by a top US diplomat in 20 years, for talks about economic partnerships and boosting security cooperation.
Pompeo, who arrived in the central European country on Friday, visited the Federal Palace of Switzerland in Bern, the headquarters of the executive and legislative branches, where he was received by lawmaker Christa Markwalder.
Pompeo was set to meet Swiss President Ueli Maurer as well as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ignazio Cassis.
The meeting between the two counterparts would take place Sunday in the Italian-speaking southern canton of Ticino, with Venezuela and Iran expected to grace the agenda, both issues requiring special cooperation between Washington and Bern.
Pompeo will also meet business leaders as well as the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, according to information provided by the US Department of State.
US diplomatic sources revealed this week that Pompeo would also be attending a session at the Bilderberg Club, an exclusive and secret meeting of European and North American politicians, businessmen and journalists, which this year takes place in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The select club created in 1954 has invited 130 politicians, businessmen and journalists to its closed-door sessions, with the focus expected to be on topics such as Russia, China, artificial intelligence and the effects of social networks.
Despite his attendance, Pompeo does not appear on the official list of guests, which features the adviser and son-in-law of President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and the president of Spainís Popular Party, Pablo Casado, among others.
Pompeoís visit to Switzerland is part of a European tour that began on May 30 in Germany and would continue with a stop in the Netherlands and end in the United Kingdom on the occasion of Trumpís state visit.