Undersecretary meets Swiss delegation

Manama, The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Affairs, Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, met with the Assistant Secretary of State of the Swiss Foreign Ministry and Director of the Middle East and North Africa Directorate, Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, as well as the Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Arab Emirates, Maya Tissafi, on the sidelines of the 14th Manama Dialogue.

Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa welcomed the participation of officials from the Swiss Foreign Ministry in the summit, praising the mutual keenness to follow up on the common understandings reached during the third Bahraini-Swiss political Consultation Meeting between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, at the Federal Palace in Bern in February.

During the meeting, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two friendly countries and exchanged views on the regional and international issues and developments of mutual concern.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Affairs stressed the importance of activating the memorandums of cooperation and agreements signed during the visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Switzerland in May 2016, which promoted bilateral relations and common interests between the two countries.

The Undersecretary for International Affairs pointed out the various investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as it is a regional hub for finance, entrepreneurship and technology services, as well as the main trade gate in the region. Bahrain is an active and reliable international partner, he added.

He also discussed the steps and initiatives taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain independently to promote and protect human rights, in line with the approach of strengthening the modern civil state foundations, which was established by His Majesty the King, according to the law, the Constitution, and the universal human rights standards.

Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa explained that Bahrain's vision of the human rights issue is broader and more comprehensive than to be one-dimensional.

He added, Bahrain's vision for human rights includes all humane dimensions, such as the citizen's right to a secure and stable environment and meeting their basic requirements, in addition to the Kingdom's success in harmonizing the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism with the protection of human rights, which is an integral part of the fight against extremism and terrorism. The law is what protects rights and holds accountable those who violate it, he said.

The Undersecretary for International Affairs warned against those desperate attempts by outlawed groups with a well-known agenda to exploit the freedom available to politicize those rights in a malicious and immoral manner.

He added that we have no problem reviewing or developing a specific procedure, whenever it requires because we trust the efficiency and effectiveness of the system of legal procedures we follow.

Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa also said that Bahrain is most tolerant and respectful of religious and public freedoms, and represents an international model in the protection of those freedoms, saying: "We will not allow anyone to undermine our identity, values and our national march. Bahrain is the land of tolerance, coexistence, and moderation, and it will remain so, with the wisdom and care of its leader and its people, he added.

In addition to that, he also noted that the elections in November will be a new phase in the national march and enhancing the popular participation through the exercise of a genuine democracy, one that confirms the primacy and vitality of the democratic political system in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Swiss part praised the remarkable progress of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the field of reform, especially regarding the empowerment of women, equal opportunities, reforms in the labor market and protection of the rights of expatriate workers.

Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart expressed his country's aspiration to develop its relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain for further cooperation between the two friendly countries, praising the positive ambiance and facilities available for investment in the Kingdom.

Source: Bahrain News Agency