As part of an official visit to the Middle East in April, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis visited Oman, which is an important partner for Switzerland in the region, especially in terms of peace and stability. During talks held today in Lugano with Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs reiterated Switzerland's willingness to support dialogue between countries of the region. "Only through dialogue," explained Ignazio Cassis, "is it possible to ease tensions and improve security in the Middle East".
Switzerland and Oman pursue a neutral foreign policy and are both known for their good offices and role as mediators in conflicts. They support efforts to revive the peace process in Yemen and to improve relations among the conflicting states in the region. The ministers also discussed potential opportunities for Swiss companies in Oman and furthered the dialogue begun in the spring on cooperation in the areas of healthcare and vocational education and training for young people. Technical-level meetings between Swiss and Omani delegations have already been scheduled for the run-up to the World Expo in Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022.
Focus on the Middle East and North Africa at USI
Tomorrow, the two foreign ministers will take part in the fourth Middle East Mediterranean Summer Summit, organised by Switzerland's Italian-speaking public university, the Università della Svizzera italiana. Mr Cassis will take part in a panel discussion with young people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a priority area for Switzerland's foreign policy. Creating prospects for younger generations is at the heart of the Federal Council's MENA Strategy.
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