ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Switzerland on Tuesday held a political consultation in a bid to deepen their long-standing bilateral relationship, according to the ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA).
The dialogue held in Addis Ababa was co-chaired by the visiting Assistant State Secretary of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, ambassador Siri Walt, and Tesfaye Yilma, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
The two sides agreed to strengthen follow-up on the implementation of signed agreements and explore areas of cooperation between parliaments, cities, and academic institutions of the two countries.
The need for strong cooperation on development and environmental issues, with a special focus on Green Legacy, youth development, and migration, was also highlighted, as per MoFA.
The two sides also agreed to continuously exchange ideas on the situation in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with a special focus on fighting terrorism, it added.
Assistant State Secretary Walt later described the discussions during the consultation as “open and fruitful”. “We discussed… bilateral relations, our partnership in migration and international cooperation,” she added.
This is the fifth political consultation that the two counties held after a memorandum of understanding to increase bilateral dialogue was signed in 2014.
– Walt’s meeting with Demeke –
Prior to today’s dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Walt met and discussed several issues including the renewed conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Demeke stated that the government will always be committed to resuming the AU-led peace talks while continuing to defend Ethiopia’s sovereignty and protect the people from the TPLF’s aggression, according to MoFA.
In the message posted on Twitter, Assistant State Secretary Walt expressed her concern about the renewed clashes.
“We call for de-escalation, a return to the ceasefire, and negotiations towards a political solution,” Walt said, “We acknowledge the stated willingness of the Ethiopian Government to hold talks.”
Demeke also congratulated Walt on Switzerland’s election to the UN Security Council, expressing his hope that it would, as always, take a balanced and reasonable position on global agenda items.
The European nation will serve as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a two-year period beginning January 2023.