Togo – Norway: Robert Dussey meets his Mrs Eriksen Søreide in Oslo

The Togolese diplomat, Robert Dussey, met his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Søreide, on Friday, 09 November in Oslo.

The discussion focused on economic cooperation, security and stability issues in Africa.

Mr Dussey participated yesterday at the Nordic-Africa Summit whose theme was the promotion of the blue economy, maritime activities and new energies. So many topics that interest Togo whose ambition is to become a logistics hub.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs was the guest on the morning of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) for a conference on violent extremism and security challenges in West Africa.

Participants wondered about the role that can play preventive diplomacy.

Mr. Dussey was joined by Øystein H. Rolandsen and Jenny Lorentzen, researchers at PRIO. Founded in 1959, this institute conducts research on conditions conducive to peaceful relations between states. The PRIO analyzes how conflicts break out and how they can be solved, but also how companies deal with crises and crisis threats.

PRIO develops theoretical knowledge and refines research methodologies.

This academic excellence must have a significant impact on societies, say the leaders of the institute.

Cooperation : Visa exemption between Togo and the Centrafrican Republic

African integration is becoming more concrete. Togolese will go to the Central African Republic without a visa and vice versa. Togolese wishing to visit Central African Republic will no longer need visas. The foreign ministers of Togo and Central African Republic, respectively Robert Dussey and Charles Armel Doubane, signed an exemption agreement on Sunday in Lome.

This measure applies to all passports: ordinary, service and diplomatic passports.

[Interview] Robert Dussey : “Togo and Israel have very good bilateral cooperation”

Most Israelis would have trouble finding Togo on a map or name one significant fact about it. It’s a tiny country that rarely features in the Israeli headlines. And yet, it is one of the most pro-Israel places in the African continent. It is no wonder then that Togolese Foreign Minister Professor Robert Dussey begins his interview with the declaration that “I came here to reassure [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that Togo will support Israel. Our support for Israel is constant.”

Officially the minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, Dussey is one of the strongest political figures in his country (and the entire continent). He thinks of Israel as his second home, both spiritually and politically. So much so, in fact, that he can’t even remember how many times he has visited Israel.

The reason for this deep connection with the people of Zion may lie in the fact that before he was appointed minister, for 10 years, Dussey served in a number of different roles in the Community of the Beatitudes. For this Catholic group, the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people is a top priority. Ever since he was a Catholic monk and to this day, Dussey recites daily prayers in Hebrew, maintaining a strong spiritual bond with Israel.

Dussey is 46 years old. He began his career in the academic world (he still works as a professor of political philosophy). During our interview, he spontaneously begins to sing the Shema Yisrael prayer in his community’s special tune. At another point during the interview, he mentioned Psalms 137:5: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.”

“I have a personal link with Israel,” he says. “I was a monk and I was a member of Community of Beatitudes that prays every day for the Jewish people. Every day we pray for peace for Israel and particularly peace in Jerusalem. On the weekend we celebrate Shabbat together, and after the prayer we share the Shabbat bread and sing Shabbat songs in Hebrew. If you have this spiritual link with the Jewish people and with Israel and you have to protect the Israeli people.”

“For me, the Israeli people and the Jewish people are, first and foremost, the people of God. It is a personal decision, it is my own conviction, and I will do everything for this conviction. I spent more than 10 years of my life praying for peace in Jerusalem, praying for the Jewish people and for Israel. For me, Israel is very important and I need to defend Israel and the people of Israel.”

The timing of Israel Hayom’s interview with Dussey was particularly relevant in underscoring Togo’s uncompromising support for Israel – it took place a day before the U.N. General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning Israel, but not Hamas, for Gaza border clashes. Dussey made it clear that the Togolese representative at the U.N. would go against the grain and, once again, be among the only envoys to vote against the resolution with the U.S. and Israel.

“I know in Togo we are courageous,” he says. “Everybody knows that Togo supports Israel every time. It is not the first time that we voted for Israel in international forums. In Geneva for example, at the Human Rights Council, Togo votes for Israel, it defends Israel’s position. It is our position, we defend it.”

Q: Where does this deep connection to Israel come from?

“Togo and Israel have very good bilateral cooperation and of course, it is growing stronger and stronger. Last year, we were supposed to host a summit, the first Israeli-African summit. Unfortunately, the summit was postponed. Togo received a lot of pressure from a lot of Arabic countries, and some African countries too. But I hope we will do it in the future.”

Togo was the only African country to vote with Israel and the U.S. to block a U.N. resolution condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. Generally speaking, despite the fact that Togo has no embassy in Jerusalem, the country’s pro-Israel stance has significantly intensified in recent years.

But at the same time, Togo wants to retain its status in Africa (Togo heads the important regional body ECOWAS, which comprises 15 African countries, for example), so it makes sure to maintain good relations with its neighbors.

Q: Was there a strong backlash in Africa when Togo voted with Israel on Jerusalem at the U.N.?

“Of course, you know we received a lot of calls from different capitals in the world. They condemned our decision, but we this was the decision we made.”

Q: Do you think Togo has the power to influence other countries to support Israel in the same way?

“I think it is possible, but our vision is dialogue with all African countries, to know exactly what is happening in this region. What we need is peace in the Middle East and in Israel and everywhere in the world.

“Some African countries don’t know what is happening really in this region, but we are talking with them, we are trying to explain to our interlocutors and let them make their own decisions. We believe we will find peace when God decides.”

Q: Other countries often want to make use of Israeli expertise in defense, in the war on terror and in agriculture. Does Togo share that desire?

“Of course, we share a lot of things with Israel. We have good cooperation in our health sector and our agriculture sector. For example, just for our health sector, we inaugurated three weeks ago the first trauma center in Togo, one of the best in the West African region. … Our bilateral cooperation is very good.

“In Africa, and in Togo, we have enormous resources, but unfortunately we don’t have the expertise to exploit our resources. Israel has expertise, we have a lot of engineers and we need your expertise to come to Africa to help us with our resources.”

Q: The president of Togo has said that you want Israel to return to Africa and that African returns to Israel. What does he mean by that?

“I support my president. If I am here it is because he is one of the best friends of Israel. His vision about the cooperation between Israel and Africa is very good. For him it is very simple, we need the Israeli people to come back to Africa. Before 1980, Israel was in Africa, Israel had a lot of embassies in Africa, in Togo … but we need Israel to come back to Africa, Israeli businessman have to come back to Africa, Israeli business people have to invest there.”

Q: So how is it that despite the close bilateral relations, most Israelis don’t really know Togo all that well?

“Togo is a West African country; it is just one country among 54 African countries. We want to present Togo to everyone in the world, particularly in Israel. Maybe you can come, if you want to know Africa, it is a door to West Africa.”

Q: You are probably the only professor who is also a minister in the government. Does that put you in a better position to solve the problems, considering that you are a political theorist? Have you ever tried to implement academic theories in politics?

“I try to do my best. When you are in politics you need to shift from theory to practice. It is not easy when you have to work or take a position to defend Israel. But that is our decision.”

Q: Do you have an example of a theory you tried to implement?

“You know, my favorite philosopher is Emmanuel Kant – I did my Ph.D. on him, I teach him. One of the best books he wrote was ‘Perpetual Peace.'”

Q: Is it applicable here in this region?

“I think it is possible if you have the will to do something…”

———-

Source : http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/24/i-will-do-everything-for-israel-togolese-foreign-minister-says/

Press Release : Official visit of Minister Robert DUSSEY to Jerusalem

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration

Jerusalem on June 12, 2018.

1- At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Israel, HE Mr. Benyamin NETANYAHOU, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY paid an official visit to Jerusalem on June 11 and 12, 2018;

2- This visit follows the visit by HE Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic, President-in-Office of ECOWAS from 7 to 11 August 2016 in Israel;

3- It should be recalled that during this visit, the Togolese Head of State and the Prime Minister of Israel agreed, in accordance with the so-called principle of “privileged relations”, to increase their mutual trust and to broaden their cooperation in other areas;

4- The exchanges between the Minister DUSSEY and the Prime Minister NETANYAHOU focused on issues of common interest of a bilateral and multilateral nature;

5- Addressing bilateral issues, Minister DUSSEY and Prime Minister NETANYAHOU welcomed the dynamism of the cooperation between their two countries and reviewed the great achievements of the decisions of the first major joint commission of cooperation;

6- In this regard, they welcomed the concrete and fruitful actions of the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) in the development process of Togo, particularly in the health and agriculture sectors, and agreed to continue its efforts;

With Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, Rabbi of the Wailing Wall and Holy Places

7- They also noted the need to relaunch the work of the second major joint commission for cooperation between the two countries and to support the actions of the two governments in the fields of rural development, education, science and technology, community development, social protection and promotion, and the integration of women in the development process;

8- During this visit, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY and his delegation had working sessions with the Director General of the Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV);

9- At the end of the exchanges, the two parties agreed on the upcoming visit to Lome of a delegation of Israeli experts for discussions with the technical ministries to better take into account the priorities of the Togolese government in accordance with the axes the National Development Program (PND);

10- Talking about the situation at the multilateral level, the Togolese Foreign Minister and the Israeli Prime Minister addressed issues related to the Syrian and Middle East crises, deploring the situations in this part of the world and calling on all stakeholders dialogue and restraint to preserve peace;

11. Concerning the resurgence of terrorism and acts of maritime piracy, they reaffirmed their strong condemnation and called for the pooling of efforts as well as the continuation of international cooperation with a view to their eradication;

12- At the end of his visit, the Head of Togolese diplomacy reassured the Israeli government that Togo is at its side and will always support it in the international bodies to which their two countries are members.

Signature of an association agreement between ECOWAS and Mauritania

The Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Dussey, President-in-Office of the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS, chaired on October 27 in Nouakchott the first session of the Association Council between Mauritania and the West African organization.

Mauritania and ECOWAS signed an association agreement last August in Lomé. The organization would have preferred Nouakchott to present a readmission dossier, but finally the solution of associate state status has been validated.

The country left the West African group 17 years ago.

The agreement became effective; It remains to set the terms and implementation before formal ratification.

The Council underlined the importance of this association which will contribute to increase trade between the States, to stimulate the investment and the development in Mauritania, underlines a statement published Sunday.

Mauritania should quickly join the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Trade Liberalization Scheme (SLE).

On the Mauritanian side, several personalities took part in the Association Council, including Minister for Trade and Industry Naha Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass and Foreign Minister Isselkou Ahmed Izud Bih.

During his stay in Nouakchott, Robert Dussey was received by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Signature of an OpenSky Agreement between Togo and Mauritania

An OpenSky agreement was signed Friday in Nouakchott between Mauritania and Togo.

Specifically, Mauritania Airlines may provide direct links to Lomé and Asky by reciprocity to serve Mauritania.

Mauritania Airlines is expected to open a representation agency very soon in the Togolese capital.

The agreement was signed by Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey and the Mauritanian Ministers of Transport and Trade. Mauritanian Foreign Minister Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izid Bih attended the ceremony.

This agreement is in line with the Yamoussoukro agreement on the liberalization of air transport in Africa.

The future Nouakchott-Lomé links will allow the development of bilateral exchanges to offer Mauritania a springboard for integration into ‘Espace Cédéao’. The country is an associate member of the West African organization.

Mauritania Airlines has a fleet of single aisle Boeing 737-800, 700 and 500. It serves Nouadhibou, Zouerate, Abidjan, Bamako, Casablanca, Conakry, Dakar, Las Palmas and Tunis.

The departure of a great friend of Togo

Nicolas Berlanga-Martinez, the European ambassador to Togo arrives at the end of his mission. A stay has been used to deeply anchor the relationship between the EU and Togo in terms of development aid, strengthening good governance or combating climate change

The Spanish diplomat has campaigned in the European bodies to ensure that Togo is given substantial support under the 11th EDF.

‘We are confident about the future of our relations with the European Union in the light of the solid milestones you have had to ask in recent years,’ said Foreign Minister Robert Dussey on Tuesday evening, A dinner in honor of Mr. Berlanga-Martinez.

Mr Dussey described the European representative as ‘a great friend of Togo’. He commended his presence and his dynamism.

‘You are leaving Togo with your head high in view of the spectacular achievements you leave behind,’ said the head of Togolese diplomacy.

Robert Dussey represents the head of state in Tehran

Iranian President Hassan Rohani, re-elected with 57 percent of the vote (more than 23 million votes in his favor) in the presidential election on May 19, received on Thursday the blessing of Ayatollah Khamenei the ‘Supreme Leader’.

The investiture ceremony took place in the Husseiniyeh of Imam Khomeini in Tehran.

Mr. Rohani was sworn in at the end of the day at a ceremony in which Iran invited foreign leaders.

Togo was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Dussey.

The latter was received this morning by his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. He was carrying a congratulatory message from President Faure Gnassingbe to Hassan Rohani for his re-election.

The letter also highlights the quality of relations between Lomé and Tehran.

The investiture ceremony took place at the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

The seventh Iranian president is expected to shortly present his government whose ministers must secure the confidence of Parliament.

Togo’s accession to the Commonwealth: “… We are optimistic for the rest of the process” (Robert Dussey)

Togo strikes at the door of the Commonwealth, the intergovernmental organization whose English is the common language. Togo has embarked on the process since 2014 and missions have multiplied in recent months in the Togolese capital. Is Togo really on the footsteps of Rwanda, the second African country to join the Commonwealth in 2009 after Mozambique?

For its heading “THREE QUESTIONS A”, Agence Savoir News approached Mr. Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Savoir News: Togo is fighting to join the Commonwealth. At the present stage, can we say that the dossier is evolving with “big steps”?

Robert Dussey: Thank you. I would first like to say that the evaluation process is done in four stages. This is the second time that a Commonwealth mission has been in Togo within five months. At each of their missions in Lomé, the experts met with several actors and institutions of the Republic. Everything went well.

In short, the issue of Togo is well on the way and we are optimistic for the rest of the process!

What are the advantages of Togo?

Togo is a politically stable country, where there is peace and democracy. In this respect, we have quite dynamic political, economic and social institutions capable of playing a regulatory role in terms of transparency and fairness to citizens.

Linguistically and culturally, Togo already has a strong English tradition, given that English is the second foreign language studied in the Togolese educational system, but also in trade. It should be noted that the Anglo-Saxon model is highly appreciated by the populations and Togo has strong relations with the English-speaking countries of the region, especially with neighboring Ghana and Nigeria.

Geographically, our country has a strategic position with enormous assets, including a deep water port, the only one in the West African zone, which opens up the countries of the hinterland (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali).

Lomé is also a crossroads city of great international meetings, where there is a strong English presence. We therefore have indisputable assets for our membership in the Commonwealth.

The accession of Togo will give concretely what? (Eg diplomatic and economic).

Togo’s accession to the Commonwealth will enable it to integrate a large family of 52 friendly and allied states. Togo will have the opportunity to broaden the scope of its state relations and further diversify its relations of friendship and cooperation, making new friends and getting closer to its old friends such as Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and so on.

On the economic front, the Commonwealth, through the Technical Cooperation Fund (CFTC) and the Association of Commonwealth Countries, plays an important role in the economic and social progress of its members, acting on their pace of economic growth .

Togo which has a growth rate (5 to 6%) will be able to benefit from these channels to boost its economy. Furthermore, from a commercial standpoint, the Commonwealth constitutes a large external market (more than 2 billion consumers) for exports of Togolese national products. END

Interview by Junior AUREL

Fourth session Togo-Ghana Joint Commission in Accra

The fourth session of Togo-Ghana Joint Commission opened on Thursday July, 27th in Accra. The Togolese delegation headed by Foreign Minister Robert Dussey also includes Security Minister Yark Damehame, his health colleague, Moustafa Mijiyawa, the Director General of the Togolese Revenue Office (OTR) and the police .

“This 4th session of the Mixed Commission reflects the commitment of our two countries to develop cooperation that fosters the development of our two peoples,” Dussey said at the opening of the meeting.

He said Togo and Ghana shared the core values ​​of democracy, stability, good governance and the fight against corruption.

The accession to the presidency of Faure Gnassingbé’s CEDAO should be an asset to boost bilateral trade, said the head of Togolese diplomacy.

For two days, discussions will focus on defense and security, judicial cooperation, social action, tourism development, trade, territorial administration, telecommunications and customs cooperation.

Visit of the ECOWAS Institutions in Togo

Under the presidency of ECOWAS, President of the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS, the Foreign Minister of Togo, Prof. Robert Dussey and ECOWAS Commission President Marcel Alain de Souza held a working session today at the ECOWAS headquarters in Lomé.

This meeting allowed the two personalities to visit all the ECOWAS Institutions represented in the Togolese Republic.

Séance de Travail

Several working sessions are held with, among others:

  • Ambassador Permanent Representative of ECOWAS to Togo
  • The President of BIDC (Investment and Development Bank of ECOWAS)
  • The Director of the CIC (Community Information Center)
  • The Director of ARAA (Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food)
  • The Director of the PPDU (ECOWAS Projects Preparation and Development Unit)
  • And the Director of the Brown Insurance Card

 

Click to view the pictures

Cooperation at regional level

The foreign ministers of Burkina Faso and Mali, respectively Alpha Barry and Abdoulaye Diop, arrived in Lomé on Sunday.

They were joined in the evening by their colleague from Niger, Ibrahim Yacouba.

These three countries are the guests of the ‘Spring of Cooperation’, a conference organized by Togo from Monday and aimed at strengthening the partnership with Germany.

German businessmen and members of the Bundestag will participate in the 3-day meeting.

The foreign ministry behind this forum, which was held last year for the first time, wished to associate the countries of the hinterland whose economies are linked to that of Togo. In particular, the port of Lomé is also the port of Burkina, Mali and Niger.

The creation of a German-French-African Francophone Chamber of Commerce (CCPAF) should be announced at the end of the conference.

AIPAC 2017: Togo draws the outlines of a new axis of cooperation

AIPAC’s annual conference, The American Israel Public Committee, opened in Washington on Sunday with 16 000 participants from across the country.

US Vice President Mike Pence will speak in the evening. On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrats in the Senate, will be in attendance.

All the upper hand of American politics attends this convention and not only. Former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Canada’s Stephen Harper made the trip to Washington.

On Sunday afternoon, the Togolese foreign minister spoke to an audience of more than 6,000 enthusiastic people.

Questioned by journalist Frank Sesno (CNN, PBS), he recalled the commitment of his country alongside Israel. Support is manifested, in particular, through courageous initiatives in hostile votes in international organizations such as the United Nations.

Mr. Dussey seized the opportunity of his visit to AIPAC to clarify the objectives of the next Africa-Israel Summit to be held in Lomé from 23 to 27 October 2017.

‘The Togolese president used to say that Africa has problems and that Israel has the solution. The purpose of the Summit is to strengthen the links between Africa and Israel at the political, diplomatic and economic levels. The African continent is in full development and Israel has the solutions to accompany it in the sector of new technologies, education, health, agriculture, to name only these areas, ‘he said Explain.

Questioned by Franck Sesno on the role that the United States could play, Robert Dussey said that the ambition was to set up a new axis of cooperation between Africa, Israel and the United States.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who spoke on Sunday at the AIPAC forum, said the Africa-Israel Summit was an opportunity for the continent to broaden the circle of partners in a vision of shared prosperity.

The AIPAC convention will end on Tuesday.

Strengthening cooperation with Zambia

Foreign Minister Robert Dussey is on a 48-hour official visit to Zambia at the invitation of his counterpart, Harry Kalaba.

There was talk of reinvigorating political and economic cooperation between the two countries.

They also decided to proceed in the near future to the cancellation of visas between Togo and Zambia. The two ministers reaffirmed their firm commitment to combating terrorism and extremism in all their forms and agreed to pool their efforts with other countries and partners such as the United Nations and the African Union.

Harry Kalaba officially confirmed that his country was supporting the holding of the first Africa-Israel Summit in Lome in October and assured of his country’s participation.

This was also confirmed by Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, receiving Friday Robert Dussey. The Zambian leader was also in Israel at the end of February.

The head of the Togolese diplomacy carried a message from Faure Gnassingbe about the many crises that threaten the peace, security, stability and development of Africa and the world.

Mr Lungu invited President Faure Gnassingbé to make an official visit whose date remains to be fixed.

 

 

Source: Republicoftogo.com

Robert Dussey invites German businessmen to come to Lome in April

During an economic conference organized in Bonn on Friaday by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Foreign Minister of Togo Robert Dussey invited German businessmen to come many in Lomé from next 3rd to 5th April in the occasion of the ‘Spring of cooperation Togo-Germany ‘.

This is the second edition of this year’s Forum with the participation of the countries of the hinterland (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso).

The Bonn Symposium brings together leading personalities, including Günter Nooke, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Personal Representative for Africa, senior officials of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and representatives of the German Union of Catholic Enterprises.

The presence of Robert Dussey at this meeting which will end Saturday illustrates the dominant economic diplomacy wished by President Faure Gnassingbé.

Conseil de l’Entente: approved Programme and Budget for 2017

Foreign Ministers of the States members of Le Conseil de l’Entente (CE) approved Monday in Lome, the project program/2017 of the executive secretariat of the subregional organization, after two days of conclave of experts last week.

Project budget/2017 of the executive secretariat was also adopted and is balanced in recipe and in expenses to 3,369 billion CFA.

The Ministers meeting in Lomé also approved a study on establishing a mechanism of management and conflict mediation. As for the reform of the Regional Training Center for Road maintenance (CERFER) it will be a mission of mobilization of resources for the Bank African Development (Bank ADB) and other partners of the Conseil de l’Entente.

“The results we have reached testify not only the seriousness of the work, but also and above all the excellence of the relations of friendship and cooperation that unite our five States”, welcomed the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Dussey.

“I am convinced that our desire to move forward is manifest, friendship, trust and mutual understanding that drive us are a guarantee for the promotion of cooperation within our space”, he added.

By mutual agreement, Ministers commended the missions of observations sent by Le Conseil de l’Entente in the elections in some Member States in 2016. They agreed to the strengthening of cooperation between States members especially Security.

It should be noted that the head of State Togolese Faure Gnassingbé took the head of the Council of the agreement for a term of 2 years, at the end of its ordinary session held in July in Niamey (Niger). The Togolese president succeeds his nigerien counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou.

As a reminder, the Council of the Entente was created since 1959 for the promotion of peace and development in the Member States 5. The Committee of experts has been in place for 2012 to revitalize the subregional organization. END

Chrystelle MENSAH
Source: SavoirNews