State-secretary Yves Rossier in the Near East for political talks

Bern, Press release, 11.09.2013

The state-secretary of the FDFA, Yves Rossier, is currently on an official visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory from 8 to 12 September 2013. He will meet his Israeli counterpart, Rafael Barak, and the Palestinian deputy-foreign minister, Tayser Farahat, primarily to discuss the current peace talks. Switzerland has been a longstanding advocate of a two-state solution to the conflict in the Near East.

Talks took place on 9 September 2013, within the framework of the annual Swiss-Israeli political dialogue, focusing on the ongoing peace efforts and Switzerland’s contributions to the support for the peace process. In addition, the FDFA state-secretary and the director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry discussed possibilities to deepen relations between Switzerland and Israel as well as the current situation in the region.

Following his meeting with Rafael Barak, Mr Rossier visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and met representatives of the Swiss community in Israel.

The political dialogue with representatives of the autonomous Palestinian Authority, which took place for the first time yesterday, also focused on the peace process, the current situation in the region, and aspects of their bilateral relations. Following this political dialogue, Mr Rossier was received for a courtesy visit by the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad Al-Maliki. Later in the afternoon, the state-secretary visited members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH). Today he concludes his trip with a visit to Gaza to meet representatives of the United Nations and Switzerland’s humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peace promotion partners.

Yves Rossier’s trip follows up on Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter’s visit to the Near East in May this year and is part of Switzerland's commitment to stability in the regions bordering on Europe. The peace process in the Near East is currently in an important phase. Switzerland advocates a two-state solution in the Near East which it regards as the most appropriate approach to resolving the conflict and guaranteeing both Israel's future and that of a Palestinian state. As part of its efforts for peace, stability and respect for international humanitarian law, Switzerland has repeatedly called on all the parties to comply with their legal obligations and to commit to improving the humanitarian situation.


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
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E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs