The working lunch on the Brissago Islands focused on the economy and finance, education, research and innovation, and sustainable development. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of Switzerland's most important trading partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is a leading country in new technologies and artificial intelligence, areas discussed during the visit. Other topics included the impact of the war in Ukraine on the MENA region and regional stability. Cassis highlighted the importance of the ceasefire in Yemen, in place since April 2022, and stressed the need for further financial support from the Gulf States for the UN's humanitarian engagement.
In view of next year's 50-year anniversary of diplomatic relations, Cassis called for a further strengthening of ties with the UAE. In addition, Switzerland wants to work with the UAE in 2023 during the countries' coinciding terms on the UN Security Council to promote the Climate Change and Women, Peace and Security agendas within the Council. This is also in anticipation of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28), which the UAE will host in Dubai in November 2023.
After the official talks, Cassis visited Schindler AG in Locarno with Al Nahyan to present Switzerland's dual vocational education system. Cassis thanked the employees present for their strong commitment to the company with international reach.
Al Nahyan was accompanied by Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy, who will attend the film festival in Locarno's Piazza Grande this evening at Cassis' invitation.
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