Switzerland signs a cooperation agreement with Egypt
BERN, Switzerland, January 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- On 20 January 2013 Switzerland and the Arab Republic of Egypt signed a framework agreement in Cairo concerning technical and financial cooperation and humanitarian aid. This agreement sets out a new legal framework for strengthening cooperation between both countries following the events of the Arab Spring. The Swiss Confederation has foreseen a budget of some CHF 30 million a year until 2016 for this cooperation programme with Egypt.
Programmes and projects will be implemented in a coordinated, coherent and complementary manner by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Directorate of Political Affairs, the Directorate of Public International Law (DPIL) and the Federal Office for Migration (FOM).
The future cooperation with Egypt translates Switzerland's desire to contribute to the democratic transformation of Egypt based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights. It will concentrate on i) contributing to the development of fair economic opportunities, particularly to foster youth employment; ii) supporting competitive industrial growth, easier access to international markets and the development of basic infrastructure; iii) strengthening public financial management and the financial sector; iv) supporting migration management and protection of the most vulnerable people as well as v) supporting the emergence of a participatory, inclusive, accountable and transparent state by contributing to political and social reforms.
On 20 January 2013, the Swiss Ambassador, Dominik Furgler, and the Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Ashraf El-Sayed El-Arabi, signed the agreement in Cairo on technical and financial cooperation and humanitarian aid. The Federal Council announced as early as 11 March 2011 its intention to step up cooperation with North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. This agreement will allow Switzerland to accompany Egypt in its new reform process and strengthen the framework conditions for economic relations between the two countries.