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LuzernerZeitung.ch: The National Council calls on the Federal Council to open an immediate embassy in Eritrea's capital, Asmara.

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The National Council calls on the Federal Council to open an immediate embassy in Eritrea's capital, Asmara.
 
A large majority of the National Council would like to open as soon as possible a Swiss Embassy in the Eritrean capital Asmara. | KEYSTONE / ALESSANDRO DELLA BELLA ERITREA ⋅
 
Google Translation
 
The National Council calls on the Federal Council to open an immediate embassy in Eritrea's capital, Asmara. By a large majority, he adopted a motion of the SVP on Wednesday with this demand.
 
June 14, 2017, 11:00
 
The presence is intended to allow the Swiss to assess the situation in the country first hand. In addition, relations could be linked to the negotiation of a readmission agreement, declared SVP spokesman Maximilian Reimann (AG).
 
With Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, he ran open doors - at least in principle. However, this advocated a step-by-step approach. In a first step, a Swiss attaché station will refer to Asmara.
 
For the Federal Council, the establishment of a permanent Swiss representation in Eritrea is also conceivable. But this is a gesture with political content, Burkhalter explained. For this, certain conditions would have to be fulfilled. As long as there was no concession to Eritrea, they were not fulfilled. "It would be wrong to give everything without preserving something," Burkhalter explained.
 
Burkhalter decided against the motion, which was also called for by Motion, to reduce its presence in Khartoum in Sudan. It is a crossroads of the migration routes where the efforts to combat irregular migration would be coordinated, Burkhalter said. However, the National Council accepted the initiative by 140 votes to 13 with 25 abstentions. This now goes to the Council of States.
 
No condition for auxiliary projects
 
With 98 to 91 votes with 3 abstentions, he rejected a motion from Thomas Burgherr (SVP / AG). The latter called for Eritrea to grant development aid only when the country is ready to conclude a readmission agreement.
 
Burgherr referred to the announcement by the Federal Council last December that Eritrea would implement a limited number of development programs. Firstly, projects are planned for job creation and vocational training.
 
Burkhalter spoke of a "gradual approach". This is the prerequisite for the fact that a readmission agreement is at all possible within the realm of possibility. Eritrea does not even meet the minimum conditions for such an agreement today.
 
As an example, Burkhalter mentioned the lack of access to the prisons or the unlimited public service. "Both sides have to take steps," he emphasized. In his opinion the motion of the Motion is therefore already fulfilled. (SDA)


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