Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui visits Bern

The Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs during an official working visit to Bern

March 01st, 2019
Eleanor Banks, News from Berlin
20190301_Tunisian Foreign Minister.jpg

The two chief diplomats used the visit to discuss international development cooperation and economic relations between the two countries of Switzerland and Tunisia. The issue of migration was also a hot topic.

The guest was met at Von Wattenwyl House by Cassis. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs had a one-to-one meeting and then were joined by their respective delegations. Cassis first congratulated Jhinaoui on the political progress in Tunisia since the overthrow of President Ben Ali in 2011, and he further encouraged the Tunisian authorities to continue with this advancement.

The two ministers spoke together about international development cooperation and signed a declaration of intent. Furthermore, Switzerland has established a cooperation strategy with Tunisia. This strategy focuses on three areas of priority: democratic transition, economic development and protection and migration. It has been revealed that the total Swiss funding for Tunisia in 2019 should be around CHF 20 million.

This cooperation was welcomed by Cassis within the context of the Switzerland and Tunisian migration partnership, with the focus on the areas of return assistance and reintegration. Another topic discussed by the two ministers was the need to boost trade between their two countries.

Regarding culture, Cassis announced the introduction of a programme to support culture in North Africa, executed in association with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.

In the run-up to the parliamentary and presidential elections in Tunisia in 2019, Switzerland has promised to advocate the electoral process and ensure its permanence. Switzerland has been supporting the organisation of elections since 2011.


News from Berlin