Opening of a Swiss embassy in Eritrea

On March 13, 2017, National Councilor Maximilian Reimann (CDU) filed a motion concerning the opening of a Swiss embassy in Eritrea. This motion is mainly motivated by short-term gains such as the readmission of Eritrean asylum seekers. Such a hasty approach has little chance of success in view of the scale of the challenges  the country is facing.

IFE nevertheless shares the opinion of National Councilor Reimann on the importance of opening a Swiss embassy in Eritrea. It is therefore essential that Switzerland maintains and strengthens its dialogue with Eritrea.

However, the Eritrean authorities have a crucial role to play. It is essential that they are frank and fully transparent about the central issues, namely:

–  human rights, and in particular the state of individual freedoms;

–  the judicial system with serious defects of independence; and

–  the need to create legal channels enabling the civilian population to express their most legitimate grievances without being arrested, imprisoned or without completely disappearing.

IFE aspires to a frank opening by the Eritrean authorities on these issues, as no progress will be possible without a sincere dialogue.