- Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis (FDP) has invited Osman Saleh to Switzerland last autumn. Until today there is no date for this visit.
- However, as research by the SRF “Rundschau” shows, Eritrea’s Foreign Minister was in Switzerland this summer.
- The Eritrean side informed Cassis shortly before and proposed a meeting. Federal Councilor Cassis was apparently on vacation.
- Swiss asylum politicians are angry. The explosive asylum dossier remains blocked.
Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has been trying to invite his counterpart Osman Saleh to Switzerland since last fall. So far unsuccessful. To date, there is no date for this official visit, as confirmed by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
What is astonishing: the Eritrean Foreign Minister was in Switzerland this summer. As research by the “Rundschau” shows, exactly one month ago, the high representative of the controversial Eritrean regime made a big appearance in the Markthalle Burgdorf in the canton of Berne. There he let himself be celebrated by regime-loyal compatriots. He did not meet Swiss authorities during his trip.
Short term appointment offered
As the DFA told SRF in writing, the Confederation had been briefed shortly before Saleh’s appearance: “On July 9, the permanent mission of Eritrea in Geneva informed the FDFA that the Eritrean Foreign Minister will be in Switzerland from 16 to 22 July. “The Eritrean side requested a meeting with Federal Councilor Cassis. However, Cassis was unable to take advantage of this short-term deadline for reasons of «agenda». According to research by SRF Cassis was on vacation.
Outraged foreign and asylum politicians
The short-term visit in the middle of the summer holidays causes outrage among Swiss parliamentarians: “This is very strange. To my knowledge, Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis has already tried three times to invite him to Switzerland. But that never worked “, said FDP Council of States and foreign policy Damian Müller. Such visits should be announced in good time.
“Of course that is an affront to Switzerland. That is quite clear, “said SP National Council Cédric Wermuth annoyed. “Switzerland has issued an official invitation. This is not answered and then Saleh comes for a propaganda appearance of his dictatorship in Switzerland. “That would not work, so wormwood.
Angry Eritrean opposition
The appearance of Osman Saleh is a PR coup of loyal to the regime Eritreans in Switzerland. But the majority of the refugees fear the regime and have fled the dictatorship in their homeland. For this group, the appearance in Burgdorf is also an affront.
“We strongly condemn the fact that the regime in Switzerland can carry out dubious propaganda performances unmolested,” said Okbaab Tesfamariam, media spokesman for the Eritrean Media Association Switzerland. “The show proves that such a regime can not be trusted,” Tesfamariam continues. With such a dictatorship no repatriation agreements should be concluded, so the regime-critical Eritrean activist.
Total blocked asylum dossier
From no other country have so many asylum seekers come to Switzerland in recent years, as from Eritrea. The Confederation wants to negotiate with the East African country for the repatriation of rejected asylum seekers. But in the meantime representatives of the SVP no longer believe in a repatriation agreement: “This regime dances our nose,” said SVP National Councilor Barbara Steinemann. Realistically, it would probably be “hardly possible” to negotiate such a contract with this regime.