Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja |
The Nigerian and Switzerland governments yesterday held another round of political consultations to deepen diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The dialogue was in furtherance of deepening already existing diplomatic engagement in terms of economic cooperation, migration issues and human rights.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose, said a couple of years ago, when the consultation began, not many people imagined it would be an annual event.
Bamgbose said the dialogue reinforced the optimism of both counties that the important process would continue to endure the test of time and serve as another platform for the strengthening and deepening of Nigerian-Swiss relations.
He commended the genuine commitment that has so far been demonstrated by both sides to the partnership, which he said had become a model in Nigeria’s relations with other countries.
“It is heart-warming to know that our two countries have succeeded in streamlining the issues of mutual interest in a more organized and coherent manner under this platform.
“It is against this backdrop that Nigeria welcomes the opportunity to participate in this discussion amongst friends, with a view to learning from each other’s experience and best practices,” Bamgbose said.
Bamgbose stated Nigeria and Switzerland were traditional partners who had devised mechanisms to broaden and deepen the scope of engagements such that the outcome of both efforts is mutually-beneficial.
He said Nigeria appreciated the engagement, pledging the continued cooperation of the country to the partnership.
On her part, the leader of the Swiss delegation, Ambassador Krystyna Marty Lang, said going by the interesting exchanges and conversations that she has had so far, she was looking forward to the exchange with Nigerian authorities.
“As you are aware, Switzerland has a very longstanding friendship and relationship with Nigeria that goes back to the day of independence.
“This relationship, as you have mentioned, is very positive and productive and its quality reflected in the high level exchanges and joint successes.
“We have long list of high ranking visits and we are very much looking forward to other upcoming visits this year,” Lang said.
Lang added that Switzerland was very proud of its partnership with Nigeria in the field of migration and human rights.
“I strongly believe that this week of exchange, has laid the groundwork for future cooperation and for deepening our already good and very close relationship,” Lang stated.
Lang said the Swiss government looked forward to the exchange and expressed confidence that both countries would discover many more fields of intensified cooperation.