This visit has been planned for a long time and is to be seen as an expression of Switzerland’s sustained interest in Africa. The first stop, Nigeria, is a major regional power and an important partner for Switzerland. Bilateral relations, the question of migration, and the Swiss financial centre will be the focus of Mrs Calmy-Rey’s discussions in Abuja.
Mali and Burkina Faso are two priority countries of Switzerland’s development cooperation. Bilateral relations and the situation in the region will be high on the agenda of Mrs Calmy-Rey’s discussions in Bamako and Ouagadougou. In Mali, she will continue the efforts of the Swiss authorities to obtain the release of Swiss citizens kidnapped in that country. This will be the subject of high-level meetings scheduled for Mrs Calmy-Rey in Bamako.
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