Ignazio Cassis receives foreign minister of Côte d'Ivoire on courtesy visit to Bern

Press releases, 28.02.2024

On 28 February, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met Kacou Houadja Léon Adom, Côte d'Ivoire's Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora, during a courtesy visit to Bern. Talks focused on bilateral relations, security and stability in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea, and multilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis shakes hands with Côte d’Ivoire Foreign Minister Kacou Houadja Léon Adom.
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Côte d’Ivoire's Foreign Minister Kacou Houadja Léon Adom noted in particular the strong ties between the two countries at their meeting in Bern. © FDFA

Mr Adom's current visit is a reflection of the long-standing and close ties between Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire. During the talks, head of the FDFA Mr Cassis noted in particular the strong ties between the two countries at bilateral and multilateral levels. The good trade relations between the countries were also highlighted. In 2023, Côte d'Ivoire was Switzerland's fourth-largest trading partner on the African continent. Switzerland also has a strong, broad-based economic presence in Côte d'Ivoire, with over 40 companies operating across various sectors.

Mr Cassis also affirmed the historical scientific ties between Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire, where the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS) has been active for over 70 years. Finally, with respect to migration issues, he welcomed the cooperation between Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire, confirming Switzerland's commitment to continue implementing the three agreements on migration signed in 2021.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis also confirmed that Switzerland would co-fund the construction of Côte d'Ivoire's first museum of archaeology, which is set to open at the end of the year. The funding is provided as part of a programme to protect movable cultural heritage and stop the illegal trade in cultural property in sub-Saharan Africa.

Concern about instability in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea

The political and security situation in West Africa was also discussed. Mr Cassis and Mr Adom expressed concern about the growing instability in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea.
Mr Cassis noted Côte d'Ivoire's commitment to promoting regional stability and the positive role played by the country. He stressed the importance of the preventive approach, supported by Switzerland, to address violent extremism.

The two foreign ministers also discussed cooperation between Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire at the UN and Switzerland's priorities in the context of its UN Security Council mandate. Mr Cassis also congratulated Côte d'Ivoire, which has just started serving a second consecutive term on the UN Human Rights Council.

Further information:

Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 (pdf)
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Côte d'Ivoire

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs