South Africa and Switzerland recommit to strengthen relations
(l-r) Mr Christian Meuwly, Ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa, Mr Yves Rossier, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and Mr Luwellyn Landers, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa. Photo: GCIS
24 February 2015
Pretoria – South Africa and Switzerland have recommitted to strengthen relations, with much focus on vocational training and skills development, says International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers.
Deputy Minister Landers was speaking on Tuesday following the 6th South African-Switzerland High Level Consultations (HLC), which he co-chaired with his Swiss counterpart, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yves Rossier.
The Deputy Minister said the commitment will see the two countries intensifying cooperation at different levels.
He said they both acknowledged the good trade relations the two countries have and the positive impact this has on job creation. They also recognise the importance of increasing South Africa’s exports to Switzerland.
“Together with my colleague, we have also exchanged views on the development of Africa, with specific reference to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan.
“We further affirmed our wish for peaceful solutions of conflict ridden areas like Syria and Ukraine, and hope that normality will prevail for the people of these countries to enjoy a better life,” he said.
Deputy Minister Landers said he also exchanged views with Rossier on the scourge of terrorism and its implications.
“We have exchanged views on … the reform of transformation of the UN and other related issues of the reform of the UN Security Council. I have no doubt that these relations between South Africa and Switzerland will grow from strength to strength,” said the Deputy Minister.
Rossier said his country’s relations with South Africa are very important, as South Africa has a strong voice in the multilateral diplomacy realm.
“We share many ideals and values… South Africa can also help us when we try to find our way in engagements with Somalia, Burundi, DRC and other countries in Central Africa. I am eager to have more meetings of mutual interest,” said Rossier.
The 6th session took place within the context of solid structured bilateral relations between the two countries and the commitment to enhance the North-South dialogue.
The HLC comprises committees such as the Foreign Affairs Working Group, Human Rights Dialogue Sub-Committee, Joint Economic Commission, Development Cooperation and Financial Matters Working Group and the Science and Technology, Energy, Education Skills Development and Vocational Training Working Group. - SAnews.gov.za