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Ignazio Cassis in Rome on his first foreign visit

17.11.2017 — Media release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will be in Rome on Tuesday for a working visit, including a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. The goal of this first visit of the new head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) will be to review bilateral matters and key issues of international policy. During this first visit, Mr Cassis is keen to underline the importance Switzerland attaches to its relationship with Italy and to become acquainted with the Italian foreign minister.

Sudan: Kidnapped Swiss national has been freed

15.11.2017 — Media release EDA
The Swiss woman who was kidnapped on 7 October 2017 in the city of El-Fasher in North Darfur, Sudan, was released on 14 November 2017. She is in good health under the circumstances.

Central Mediterranean Region: Better Protection of Refugees and Migrants and the Fight against Smugglers

13.11.2017 — Media release EDA
There is a need for stronger protection of refugees’ and migrants’ basic rights. This is a central theme of the declaration adopted in Bern on 13 November 2017 by the representatives of thirteen European and African countries situated on both sides of the Central Mediterranean Sea. The representatives met for the third meeting of the Central Mediterranean Contact Group, which was also attended by representatives of the EU, the UNHCR, the IOM and the ICRC. The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa by strengthening the prevention of migrant smuggling, combating human trafficking and supporting the voluntary return of migrants to their countries of origin.

UN Human Rights Council reviews human rights situation in Switzerland

09.11.2017 — Media release EDA
As part of the regular Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Switzerland within the United Nations Human Rights Council, 111 member states submitted a number of recommendations on improving the human rights situation in Switzerland. The recommendations concern in particular discrimination, gender equality and migration. Switzerland now has three months to take a position.

Markus Seiler new head of the FDFA’s General Secretariat

08.11.2017 — Media release EDA
On 8 November 2017, Markus René Seiler was appointed as the next general secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on the recommendation of the head of the department, Ignazio Cassis. Mr Seiler, who is currently the head of the Federal Intelligence Service, will take up his new position on 1 December.

Use of chemical weapons in Syria – Switzerland's position

03.11.2017 — Media release EDA
Switzerland takes note of the latest report by the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which examines responsibility for two instances of chemical weapons use in the context of the Syria conflict. Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons and calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to refrain from using chemical weapons and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

International meeting in Bern to ensure better protection for migrants on the Central Mediterranean migration route

03.11.2017 — Media release EDA
Switzerland will host the third meeting of the Central Mediterranean Contact Group on 13 November 2017 in Bern. Set up at the initiative of Italy, the Contact Group allows European and African countries affected by migration along the Central Mediterranean migration route to exchange information and coordinate their action. Switzerland is hosting this meeting to find better ways to protect migrants. The goal is to improve migrants' living conditions and ensure better protection for them along the migration route. Many migrants fall victim to extortion, threats, ill-treatment, violence and smuggling of migrants. The meeting will take place at ministerial level and is expected to lead to the adoption of a joint declaration.

Focus on European policy and bilateral issues during presidential visit to Bulgaria

02.11.2017 — Media release EDA
On Thursday, 2 November, President Doris Leuthard, held the now traditional talks with the future EU Council presidency. The themes addressed during the discussions with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Prime Minister Bojko Borissov and further members of the government included European policy, as well as bilateral and international issues.

Wildfires in northern Italy: Switzerland sends helicopters and personnel

30.10.2017 — Media release EDA
Switzerland has sent reinforcements to Italy to help extinguish the fires that have been raging throughout several regions of Piedmont and Lombardy for the last week. Three of the Swiss Armed Forces’ Super Puma helicopters joined the firefighting efforts this afternoon. At the same time, a humanitarian team travelled to Bergamo, where it became part of the operations centre run by Italy’s civil protection authorities.

Switzerland's commitment at the UN Internet Governance Forum in Geneva

25.10.2017 — Media release EDA
On 25 October 2017 the Federal Council defined the strategic thrust of Switzerland's commitment as the host of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held from 18 to 21 December 2017 in Geneva. New initiatives are intended to strengthen the IGF as the global platform for the debates about the "rules of the game" in the digital society and economy and will at the same time position Geneva as a centre for global digital policy.

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