Interview : Review of diplomatic actions in 2019 with Minister Robert Dussey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad Prof Robert DUSSEY speaks on the highlights of Togo’s diplomatic action in 2019

Question 1:

Greetings dear Minister! In a few days, we will cross the threshold of a new year. At the time of the balance sheet, are you satisfied with the contribution of diplomacy to the work of development of Togo and to the progress of the world?

ANSWER:

Hello. Thank you for this opportunity that you offer me to come back to the highlights of Togo’s diplomatic activity during 2019.

I would say that Togolese diplomacy, under the leadership of the Head of State, His Excellency Faure GNASSINGBE, whose vision and clairvoyance I welcome, has been at all meetings, both national and international, in sight to support the efforts of the Government in its quest for well-being for all the sons and daughters of our country.

However, to say that I am satisfied with it would be to be self-sufficient and minimal. The hope of a better and prosperous Togo is an everyday fight, an endless fight, in which self-satisfaction cannot be put. I can, however, say that the personnel of my department, both at the headquarters and in our diplomatic and consular missions, did their utmost to achieve the objectives we set ourselves at the beginning of the year. As for the results, I leave it to the Togolese and Togolese, including you media people, to appreciate.

QUESTION 2:

I would like, if you allow me, to get to the heart of the matter by mentioning a subject on which you have been very active. At the start of the year, your department was given new attributions, those of Togolese living abroad. What has been done in favor of the diaspora during these 12 months?

Answer:

This is a very interesting question insofar as a whole section of the activities of the Ministry has been devoted this year to the Togolese diaspora.

The Togolese diaspora, like that of elsewhere, whether we accept it or not, has become an essential player in the development process of the continent. It’s a fact. And needless to say, the amount of transfers it sends to Africa far exceeds official development assistance. In addition, the potential of what this diaspora can bring in terms of skills and relational networks is enormous. States have therefore become aware of the place of the diaspora, rich in its diversity and intelligence, in the development effort and have therefore implemented, in recent years, policies oriented towards the intensification of participation of their nationals from outside to national development efforts.

Togo is not the rest. The Government’s desire to take the diaspora into account in the development process of our country does not start today, as you seem to say. Indeed, since 2005, the Government has continued to multiply both institutional and administrative initiatives in favor of Togolese abroad. Without being exhaustive, we can note, to illustrate:

  • The creation by decree in 2005 of the Directorate of Togolese Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for implementing government policy aimed at protecting and defending the interests of Togolese outside;
  • the establishment of the diaspora program in 2010, focusing in particular on the use of diaspora skills (2010-2014);
  • the creation in 2014 of the inter-ministerial committee responsible for coordinating and monitoring migration and development activities;
  • the establishment of a diaspora cell responsible for supporting Togolese from the outside with projects in their implementation;
  • the designation since 2015 of focal points responsible for the diaspora in the diplomatic and consular missions of Togo;
  • diaspora meetings between 2013 and 2014;
  • the organization of the great diaspora conference in 2014 in Lomé;
  • visa exemption for Togolese living abroad who hold dual nationality;
  • the organization of the first edition of the Diaspora Success Week in 2016.

It is in this spirit that the Government has consolidated its commitment vis-à-vis our compatriots living abroad through new powers for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, guardianship of this diaspora, taking into account in its name “Togolese from the outside”.

In accordance with this mission, which in truth is not new, since it is a continuation of the efforts already started by the government in favor of its diaspora, I launched on April 1, 2019, on behalf of the Government, the Roadmap for Togolese abroad which covers several activities, including the better organization of the Togolese diaspora with a view to its more adequate involvement in national development efforts. It is a question of making the diaspora an interlocutor of the public authorities. And, as everyone knows, our diaspora is extremely divided and heterogeneous, hence the need to better organize it to give it a face. The challenge was great in that it was a question of creating and instituting a logic of unity from the plurality characteristic of this diaspora.

We therefore launched at the beginning of July the online voting process which led to the election of seventy-seven (77) Country Delegates, members of the High Council of Togolese Abroad (HCTE) which is a consultative and non-partisan platform. The HCTE is a framework for exchanges and work between the government and Togolese and Togolese from outside on development issues, defending the rights and interests of the latter.

After their election, the 77 Country Delegates, members of the HCTE met for the first time in Lomé on 28 and 29 November 2019 on the occasion of the “HCTE-Diaspora Success” Forum.

 

QUESTION 3:

Precisely, Minister, what were you pursuing through the organization of the “HCTE Forum – Diaspora Success” which, according to many observers, was a resounding success?

Answer:

The “HCTE Forum – Diaspora Success” had two main objectives:

First, it was an opportunity for the Government to talk to the Country Delegates about their roles, their missions, their responsibilities and the legal framework for their actions, to present the development vision that underlies government action, on the one hand, and to define with them, the conditions for a more optimal contribution of the diaspora to Togo’s development efforts, on the other hand. At the end of the forum, the 77 Country Delegates of the HCTE were officially installed in their functions during an official ceremony chaired by the Prime Minister, Mr. Selom KLASSOU, on behalf of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE. It should also be said that the members of the HCTE were able to set up their office, composed of a Presidents and four Vice-Presidents for each of the geographic areas (Africa, America, Europe and Asia-Oceania).

Secondly, in view of the satisfactory results of the first edition of “Diaspora Success, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad organized the second edition, to celebrate Togolese excellence in the world. The Night of Diaspora Success took place on November 29, 2019 during a beautiful gala evening at the Palace of the Presidency of the Republic. It revealed to the world five talented Togolese from the diaspora whose achievements and inventions have helped advance humanity. Their merits being recognized in their country of residence, their homeland is duty bound to honor them.

By celebrating the success of these people, we are promoting a culture of excellence.

 

QUESTION 4:

Another topical subject, and not least, is the negotiations between the ACP and the EU for a post-Cotonou agreement by 2020. As your chief negotiator for the ACP group, tell us what about it? Is an agreement possible before the February 2020 deadline?

Answer:

Signed in 2000 for a period of 20 years, the Cotonou agreement which currently governs relations between the ACP and the EU expires on February 29, 2020. Negotiations with a view to concluding a new partnership have been launched September 20, 2018 in New York, on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

The current negotiations aim to lay the groundwork for a new dynamic and a new cooperation transcending classic development cooperation.

The ACP-EU partnership is mainly focused on the eradication of poverty and the sustainable and inclusive development of the ACP and EU countries. It covers three essential areas of action: development cooperation, political dialogue and trade.

Building on the lessons learned from 44 years of cooperation and making the most of the new context, the future agreement will open up unprecedented perspectives. By forming a strong political alliance, the ACP and its partners will be able to develop solutions adapted to the challenges specific to each region, including growth and job creation, human development and peace, migration and security issues. Many of the challenges currently facing the world call for a concerted, multilateral approach to achieve concrete results.

One year after the start of the post-2020 ACP-EU negotiations, discussions are progressing in peace.

The first challenge encountered was to find a consensus on the format of the future partnership agreement. It will be made up of a common base applicable to all member states and three regional pillars which will reflect the specific characteristics and needs of each of the regions that make up the ACP. This means that Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are called upon to directly negotiate their respective regional protocols with the EU, in the light of their development ambitions. By empowering the regions, the ACP group is convinced that they will do effective substantive work.

However, it is unlikely that these negotiations can be completed before February 29, 2020, the expiry date of the current Agreement. Already, on May 23, 2019, the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers, realizing the complexity of the task, had delegated its powers to the Joint Committee of Ambassadors with a view to adopting any required transitional measures which would avoid an interruption of the partnership or a vacuum legal, in case negotiations do not come to an end in due time.

Discussions on these transitional measures are also continuing between the two parties. The least we can say for the moment is that the two parties agree on a single extension of the Cotonou Agreement with the deadline of December 31, 2020. What I can tell you is that we are making every effort to progress as quickly as possible so that the initialling of the new Agreement can take place no later than the end of March 2020.

In this way, we will have enough time to prepare the new Agreement for signature.

QUESTION 5:

Minister, you have also been very offensive in bilateral relations. What are the countries to which you have directed your actions?

Answer:

As said above, our country needs partners for the realization of the PND. It is with this in mind that I paid official visits to Brazil, France and Algeria. Beyond the subjects of common, regional and international interest relating to better coordination of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism as well as that against maritime piracy, these trips were an opportunity for me to present to the of these friendly countries the opportunities offered by the PND and to encourage them to invest in Togo.

In the same vein, I received my counterparts in Lomé including those from India and Serbia for the intensification of our cooperation.

Question 6:

Minister, we’re coming to the end of this interview, your last word.

Answer:

I would like, at the dawn of this new year, to express to the Head of State, President Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, leader of the tremendous transformation of our country, my wishes for good health, prosperity and of peace.

I associate these wishes with Prime Minister Selom KLASSOU and the whole government.

I also extend my best wishes to the diplomatic and consular corps accredited in Togo and to all the technical and financial partners of Togo who have not ceased to accompany the government in the implementation of actions in favor of the development of our country and the well-being of our people.

And for each and every one of the sons and daughters of this wonderful country, I would like to successively quote Victor Hugo and Madame de Sévigné in these terms; “Let us salute together this new year which ages our friendship without aging our heart”. And “May this year be happy for you; may peace, rest and health take your place of fortune ”.

As for the future, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry teaches us “that it is not a question of foreseeing it but of making it possible”. So let’s make it possible, Togo thrives as we want.

Prize of excellence 2019 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Togo

Press release

Launched in 2014 by H.E. Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, “The Prize of Excellence” is an initiative which aims to celebrate merit by awarding distinctions to agents of the Ministry who, during the year, showed selflessness, voluntarism and commitment in the exercise of their work. It’s about encouraging everyone to give the best of themselves.

The evaluation process that led to the designation of the winners of this 6th edition includes two main components:

a “peer review” which reveals the appreciation of the agent by his colleagues: the members of the personnel designate by vote, on a list of agents nominated by the directors, the person whom they consider may deserve the price of excellence. This phase accounts for 25% for the research managers (Prize for excellence), 50% for the Secretaries (Prize for the best Secretary) and 75% for the Staff price (Drivers, cleaning agents and others) , Firstly ;
and an assessment of professional skills and competences by a neutral and independent jury made available by the National Employment Agency (ANPE), on the other hand. The evaluation by the jury represents 75% for the research managers, 50% for the Secretaries and 25% for the category of drivers and maintenance staff.

It should be noted that the selection of the best coach (among the directors) is left to the discretion of the hierarchy.

At the end of this process, the four lucky winners of the “Excellence Award 2019” are:

  • Best Coach Award: Mr. AKAKPO Koffi, Director of Togolese Abroad;
  • Award of Excellence: Mr. NOUWODOU Sokemawu, Researcher at the Directorate of State Protocol,
  • Best Secretary Award, Miss FOLI Mansa, Secretary at the General Inspection of Diplomatic and Consular Missions;
  • Staff Prize: Mr. KOUHOUNDJI François, Maintenance officer.

It should be noted, as a reminder, that the Prize for excellence was obtained by Mr. TCHASSANTI Bassirou (2014), Mr. TCHALARE Kader (2015), Mr. SOULEY Abdel Kahar (2016), Mr. BODE Manafi (2017) and M. FARE Gbandi (2018).

Lomé, December 13, 2019

Installation of the 77 HCTE Country Delegates: Speech by Minister Robert Dussey

Mr. President of the Independent Electoral Commission of the HCTE,
Ambassador, President of the organizing committee of the Forum,
Ladies and Gentlemen the Delegates country,
Distinguished guests,
Dear friends of the media,

The worthy sons of the nation are present when the country calls them and the presence among us on this day of the elected Delegates of the High Council of Togolese Abroad reflects their attachment to our country. By returning to the fold this week, you have, ladies and gentlemen, answered a call from the motherland and I would like to express to you the pride of the nation to welcome you to your homeland.

I would also like to wish you, in the name of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE and the Government, the warm and fraternal welcome to the land of our forefathers. Your presence at the HCTE-Diaspora Success Stories Forum demonstrates your sense of community. The destiny of a country is built and the Government wants to build Togo’s with you. In its march towards better-being, our country is entitled to expect more involvement of the diaspora on all issues, including development issues.

Ladies and gentlemen,

“There are two ways to be creative. We can sing and dance or we can create an environment where singers and dancers can grow, “says Warren BENNIS. The Government has opted for the second path and is working to provide the diaspora with the essential basic functional capabilities. When the diaspora succeeds, and it is the conviction of the Government, Togo wins. By working to succeed, each of our compatriots, wherever they are, helps our country succeed.

Ladies and Gentlemen the Delegates,

The Government sees the diaspora as a development partner and appreciates your commitment to this forum where you will be installed and built on the scope of the mission and your responsibilities.

You have chosen to fulfill a noble mission, that of being the ambassadors of your diaspora peers to the Government and in your countries of residence. This two-day event will enable you to better understand your roles, the powers and status of the Country Delegates, the relations between the Country Delegates and the diplomatic and consular missions of our country as well as to have useful information on the facilities and possibilities. that the nation offers to the diaspora by way of accompaniment and assistance to the initiative.

The nation and the Government rely on your sense of responsibility and commitment to serve Togo. You must take sides for the development of our country and work individually in its area of ​​representation following the principles of decentralization and subsidiarity, but also in synergy. You must dare to act and pool your experiences for more efficiency in your actions. “The true generosity towards the future is to give everything to the present,” said Albert CAMUS. In the future, you will work to give everything to the republican fatherland.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Given the importance of the mission of the HCTE country delegates, I would like to invite you to understand your mandate as a mandate of service to Togolese Abroad and the entire national community. Because there is no choice without commitment, sometimes without sacrifice, the choice to be a delegate commits you to work for the cause of national development.

Finally, I would like to invite you to make the most of the forum and your stay in the homeland. I declare open the activities of the Forum “HCTE – Diaspora success stories”.

Long live the Togolese Nation

Long live the Diaspora.

Thank you.

Launching of the first African Diaspora Economic Forum (ADEF 2020)

On the sidelines of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, H.E. Prof Robert DUSSEY, launched on September 27, 2019 in New York, at the presence of the Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, the First African Diaspora Economic Forum under the theme “The Role and Contributions of African Diaspora to the Economic Development of the Continent”.

Under the patronage of His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Republic of Togo, the African Diaspora Economic Forum to be held in Lomé on 2020 will bring together decision-makers, leaders and influencers from the continent and African Diaspora. 

The forum will gather around 2,500 participants and bring together all the African Diaspora: political actors and administrative authorities, economic operators and captains of industries, investors and chairmen of chambers of commerce, representatives of economic and commercial institutions, experts and consultants, lecturers and researchers, doctors and engineers, project leaders and philanthropists, civil society organizations and students, and other segments of the African populations.

It would be a major business meeting that will develop sustainable and fruitful partnerships with members of the African Diaspora and other partners. It would also be a real platform of mobilization for the launching of a directory of African skills and the mobilization for the emergence of a powerful and influential African lobby capable of supporting the development strategies of the continent. It would finally be the framework for the adoption of the “Lomé Declaration on Black Community Engagement for Africa’s Development”.

New York, September 27, 2019

Launch of the High Council of Togolese Abroad: Speech by Minister Robert Dussey

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of International Organizations and Organizations of Civil Society,

Mr. Secretary General,

Ladies and Gentlemen Directors,

Ladies and Gentlemen Division Chiefs,

Dear friends of the press,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished guests,

 

The Greek philosopher Epicurus said about friendship: “It is not so much the intervention of our friends that helps us but the fact that we can always count on them. The dimension of his thought that interests me is the fact that Epicure has the confidence and the guarantee of being able to always count friends as the base of friendship. Your presence on this day here is reiterative and convinces us that Togo can always count on you dear partners.

The ceremony that brings us together today is indeed a culmination since it announces the realization of a project whose beginnings date back to 2014. The establishment of the High Council of Togolese Abroad (HCTE) translates ambition clearly displayed the President of the Republic and the Government to raise the level of involvement of the Togolese diaspora in our national development effort and march towards collective prosperity.

It will be remembered that on April 1, we were here on the occasion of the launch of the Togolese Roadmap from the outside. The creation of the High Council of Togolese Abroad will materialize one of the essential axes of this Roadmap. By taking the decision to create the Togolese High Council, the Government intends to federate our diaspora to make its contribution to the development of our country even more significant.

The Togolese diaspora is a diaspora crumbled into several associations with difficulties to regroup and organize themselves in a way that ensures its representativeness. It is therefore essential to unite these different associations in order to increase their capacity for action in the direction and service of the country. The initiative for the creation of the Togolese High Council for Foreign Affairs (HCTE) is partly a response of the Government to a request from the diaspora itself.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The High Council of Togolese Abroad will include all Togolese and Togolese residing outside the national territory. It will be the framework par excellence for exchange and mutual trust between the Togolese diaspora and the Government on all issues of common interest. The HCTE will also be responsible for monitoring and coordinating the development activities of the Togolese diaspora, promoting everywhere the defense of the rights and interests of Togolese abroad and supporting them whenever the circumstances so require and making periodic consultations. with the Togolese and Togolese host countries of the diaspora.

The High Council of Togolese Abroad will be a consultative body of non-partisan, non-partisan and non-profit, and will not be affiliated with any confessional, ideological or political obedience. The challenge is to bring everyone together, make the plural diaspora of Togo a unique platform in the service of the prosperity of the nation, reconcile the logic of plurality and that of unity. Blaise Pascal said well in his book Thoughts that “the multitude that is not reduced to unity is confusion; the unity that does not depend on the multitude is tyranny “. Our differences are an asset for the country.

Finally, once again, I would like to take this opportunity to renew to you, dear friends, the gratitude of the Government for your presence at this ceremony, which shows your unwavering support when it comes to initiatives for the cause. of our country’s development. You are, to paraphrase a thought of Pythagoras, companions who help Togo to move on the path of prosperity.

I thank you for your kind attention !

Diplomag 18th is available to download!

The year 2018 is a thing of the past, the new one has only just begun, the one to come is already on our heels. Vladimir Jankélévitch once asked himself: «How can such short years be made with such long days? Time is flight and place of deployment of human existence. The human being is born in time, lives in time, acts in time and dies in time. The dimension of temporality linked to action is very essential in what the philosopher Hannah Arendt calls the «domain of human affairs». Through our actions, wherever we are, whoever we are, whatever we want, we impact the world in a variety of ways.

The history of the world in a not insignificant proportion is that of man and his action. That of Togo is that of his sons, their actions and interactions, commitments and expectations. At the diplomatic level, the year 2018 is marked in Togo by a series of actions carried out under the impetus of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, whose vision and spirit of anticipation allowed to improve the international influence of the country.

Togo has not only put its leadership at the service of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the past year, but also organized and hosted major international meetings, and currently chairs the Central Negotiating Group of the ACP Group for the post-Cotonou, the Cotonou Agreement coming to an end in February 2020. This issue of DIPLOMAG looks back on some strong sequences of the Togolese diplomacy during the year 2018. This is for the Togolese diplomacy of an opportunity to write oneself in a retrospective perspective. This editorial highlights in a synthetic approach two key moments of the diplomatic action of Togo in 2018 and the perspectives for this new year.

Click here to download

ECOWAS / ECCAS Summit: “Everything is ready”, According to Minister Robert Dussey

Lome will be in the limelight in a few days. And for good reason, the Togolese capital houses the joint summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and those of ECCAS and the meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State respectively on July 30th and 31st. In an interview given to our colleagues from the Agence Savoir News, the head of the Togolese diplomacy, Prof. Robert Dussey returned mainly to the organization of the ECOWAS / ECCAS summit. The Minister of Foreign Affairs for African Cooperation and Integration insists that everything is ready for this high-level meeting.

Read below the entire interview.

Savoir News: Minister, everything is ready for this great meeting? If not, what are the last settings?

Robert Dussey: Lome, the Togolese capital is historically known to all, to be the crossroads of major international conferences. This year, we hosted about ten sub-regional and international meetings, including those of the ACP-EU, the 79
of the ACP and the 28 of the EU, and those of two important bodies of ECOWAS, namely the Council of Europe. Mediation and Security, and the Council of Foreign Ministers. The President of the Republic Faure Gnassingbé and his government work to ensure a perfect organization of all major meetings that Lome hosts, and to the satisfaction of all Togolese. At the time I am speaking to you, we are totally ready, and on all levels.

Two meetings took place in recent days in Lomé as a prelude to this summit? Can you come back to these two meetings for our readers? And what did the participants discuss?

As elsewhere, all summits of Heads of State and Government are preceded by several preparatory sessions, including those of experts and ministers. This was the case a few days ago, that is to say on July 10, 11, 2018 in Lomé, where experts from ECOWAS and ECCAS discussed peace, security, stability, the fight against against terrorism and violent extremism, the theme that will be at the heart of the unprecedented Summit of Heads of State and Government of the two Community spaces. Of course, the reflection on this theme has made it possible to scrutinize the security situation in the two Community spaces, but also the national strategies for the fight against terrorism, as well as the legal instruments in this area and the final declaration.

Approximately how many Heads of State and Government are expected at this Summit, as Togo has a strong tradition of mobilizing Heads of State for these major meetings .

A small calculation of the member countries of ECOWAS and ECCAS, and you will know it (laughter)! We are expecting about twenty heads of state and government.

An ECOWAS-ECCAS Summit …. What will be the main topics on the menu?

As I said, debates will focus on peace, security, stability, the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. It will be for ECOWAS and ECCAS to have a strong involvement in securing the two spaces, pledge of all growth prospects or development of our nations. END

Interview by Junior AUREL (Savoir News)

[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.

Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gabon to Togo

JOINT COMMUNIQUE SANCTIONING THE VISIT TO TOGO OF HIS EXCELLENCY NOEL NELSON MESSONE, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, COOPERATION, FRANCOPHONIA AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION, IN CHARGE OF THE GABONES OF ABROAD OF THE REPUBLIC OF GABON

Lome, 21 April 218

1- At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of the Togolese Republic, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY, His Excellency Noël Noël MESSONE, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, Francophonie and Regional Integration, in charge of Gabonese Abroad of the Gabonese Republic, carried out a friendly and working visit to Lomé on 19 and 20 April 2018.

2-During this visit, the two Ministers exchanged views on issues of common interest of a bilateral, regional and international nature.

3-Addressing bilateral issues, Ministers MESSONE and DUSSEY welcomed the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation that unite the two countries and pledged to work towards their strengthening, particularly in the political fields economic, scientific and cultural. To this end, they agreed on the need to relaunch the activities of the Togo-Gabon Joint Cooperation Commission and the forthcoming signature of a visa waiver agreement for the holders of diplomatic and service passports of the two countries. States.

4-Recalling the need for the exchange of opinions and the organization of permanent consultations in various fields related to issues of common interest, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two (02) countries.

5- Considering the issues of cooperation on migration, the two Ministers agreed on a concerted management of cases of Togolese living in an irregular situation in Gabon including through a system of sharing of prior information and a concerted organization of repatriation operations with respect for the rights of migrants.

6-In this regard, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY stressed the need for an incentive for the voluntary return of Togolese migrants in an irregular situation, in particular by reducing or canceling the visa fees for final exit from Gabonese territory and recalled the urgency of the revision of the agreement on free movement of persons and goods, employment and establishment of 21 March 1975 between Togo and Gabon.

7-The Ministers DUSSEY and MESSONE also welcomed the work undertaken by experts from both countries to prevent and punish child trafficking through effective cooperation between the two (02) States. To this end, the two Ministers agreed on the forthcoming signature of the agreement on the fight against child trafficking in order to facilitate cooperation and collaboration in the investigation, arrest, prosecution and extradition of children. guilty through the competent authorities of each State.

8. With regard to the political situation in Togo, the Minister DUSSEY informed his Gabonese counterpart of the progress of the political dialogue under way and under the facilitation of the Presidents of Ghana and Guinea, their Excellencies Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO and Professor Alpha CONDE.

9- Minister MESSONE, in turn, warmly congratulated the highest Togolese authorities for the efforts that Togo continues to deploy, especially during its current chairmanship of ECOWAS, in order to preserve peace and security in the country. region, in Africa and in the world.

10- Speaking of regional integration, Ministers MESSONE and DUSSEY welcomed the proactive actions deployed within the framework of ECOWAS and ECCAS which made it possible to stem the crises that are developing and open in their respective community areas and reaffirmed their determination to work together to achieve the desired integration through the implementation of the provisions of the framework agreement of the Continental Free Trade Area signed in March 2018 in Kigali.

13- Referring to international issues including the serious issue of organized cross-border crime, maritime piracy and terrorism, the two heads of diplomacy expressed their deep concern at the resurgence of these various acts, reaffirmed their firm condemnation and called for the pooling of efforts and the pursuit of international cooperation to overcome them.

14. On the sidelines of the official visit, the Head of Gabonese Diplomacy paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Republic, President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

15- On this occasion, Mr. MESSONE congratulated the Head of State for his commitment, alongside the mediator, His Excellency Professor Alpha Condé, which allowed the resolution of the crisis in Guinea Bissau.

16- At the end of his visit, His Excellency Noël Noël MESSONE, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, Francophonie and Regional Integration, in charge of Gabonese Abroad of the Republic of Gabon, expressed his his Togolese counterpart, the Togolese Government and people, his heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude for the warm and fraternal welcome extended to him and his delegation.

17- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gabon invited Professor Robert DUSSEY to pay an official visit to Gabon.

18- His Excellency Prof. Robert DUSSEY accepted this invitation with good grace. The date of this visit will be fixed later through the diplomatic channel.

 

Guinea-Bissau: “We are thinking of getting out of this crisis by the end of the year”

A prime minister appointed since April 17, the reopening of Parliament and legislative elections in November, after 3 years of crisis, Guinea Bissau can finally see a better future.

Since his arrival at the head of ECOWAS in June 2017, President Faure Gnassingbé has spared no time and effort in trying to unblock the situation. The previous mediations had given nothing.

He made a personal commitment, sometimes banging his fist on the table, to convince political parties in Guinea-Bissau to find the way out of the crisis.

The announcements made Saturday at the extraordinary ECOWAS summit in Lome by President José Mario Vaz are the result of long negotiations led by Togolese diplomacy with all the protagonists in Bissau.

Robert Dussey, the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, has expressed confidence in a return to normalcy.

‘The monitoring committee set up by ECOWAS will accompany step by step the standardization process in Guinea Bissau. There is a road map that is like an amendment to the Conakry agreement. We expect to get out of this crisis by the end of the year and as efforts on the ground are made, the sanctions will be lifted, “he said.

President Faure Gnassingbé is one of the members of this monitoring committee.

The Lomé summit, which also discussed the situation in Sierra Leone and Togo, the fight against terrorism and the problems related to food insecurity, saw the presence of 10 heads of state from the region. A meaningful participation for an extraordinary session.

A sign of the diplomatic weight and influence of Togo in West Africa. And a head of state who comes out strengthened.

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.

CDL: German diplomacy, centerpiece of the new Europe

Christoph Sander, Germany’s ambassador to Togo, was the guest of the Lomé Diplomatic Club (CDL) on Friday, September 29th to discuss German diplomacy at the heart of Europe.

He recalled in a preamble the foundations of his country’s foreign policy: to avoid the mistakes of our grandfathers, to work for peace in Europe (Deutsche AußenpolitikisteuropäischeFriedenspolitik).

Mr. Sander then returned to the history of his country, Bismarck, the First World War, that of 39-45 with the Nazi regime and its horrors, the division of Germany with the Cold War and then the fall of the wall of Berlin.

Germany is now the main European economic power in the Union, but the diplomat stressed that it must also face new challenges. First of all, there is the Russian threat to a possible violation of the sovereignty of a European State; secondly, the need for the European institutions to respond to the economic and financial crisis. Although the situation has improved since 2008, the EU is not immune from a relapse.

Christoph Sander has drawn up a rather pessimistic picture of the situation in Europe. Great Britain is emerging from the Union, Poland and Hungary defy European constitutional consensus, Scots and Catalans demand their independence, and finally the migratory crisis is problematic.

In Germany itself, and for the first time since 1945, a far-right party entered the Bundestag.

‘The new German government must face the challenges I have just described. (…) I am sure that we will be able to resolve the great questions of our time if our politicians are guided by the same principles as Schumann, Monet and Adenauer, Mitterrand, Kohl and Genscher ‘, the ambassador concluded.

Initiated by Robert Dussey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Lomé Diplomatic Club is an apolitical reflection group that receives regular Togolese and foreign personalities from diplomatic, political and international organizations.

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.