The German-speaking heads of state have begun their annual meeting located in Switzerland this year as the 2018 host is Swiss President Alain Berset. King Philippe of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein attended as the heads of state of their respective countries. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein joined their husbands at the event which is being held Sils-Maria, Canton Graubünden, Switzerland.
After Swiss President Berset and his wife, Muriel Zeender greeted the foreign dignitaries and royals, a photo session took place before the assembled media on Wednesday. Each of the guests later signed a guestbook as the two-day event began before discussions took place on the theme “Participate in culture.”
Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa held a private meeting with the presidential couple during the Wednesday gathering. Luxembourg hosted the heads of state meeting last year with Belgium hosting it in 2016.
The Belgian Royal Palace said on Twitter about the annual meeting, “An opportunity to strengthen our ties with Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein!” This was the fifth time Belgium has taken part, according to the Royal Palace.
Countries represented at the gathering were Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. These countries all have German as an official language in their country. The President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen and his wife, Doris Schmidauer and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Büdenbender were also in attendance.
The 15th Informal Meeting of Heads of State of German-speaking Countries concludes today with a visit to the Julier Tower theatre.