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Migration agreements initialled with Tunisia

Switzerland and Tunisia have initialled a series of agreements covering cooperation on migration issues, the Federal Migration Office announced on Wednesday.

The new partnership between the two countries will cover entry, stay and readmission, and will also lay out the basis for encouraging migrants to return home voluntarily, as well as the procedures for forced repatriation.

It also provides for an agreement on an exchange of young professionals to take up further training.

The partnership will take into account both the opportunities and the challenges represented by migration, the office said.

“In addition to the issues of managing migration, it tackles the causes of migratory pressure and the possibility of economic cooperation.”

Negotiations on the issue of migration started in January. The agreements will now be sent to the Swiss government for approval before they are signed formally.

A foreign ministry spokesman told the Swiss News Agency that details would not be made public until the agreements had been signed.   

He said Tunisia was the first North African country with which Switzerland had reached such a partnership. Similar agreements already exist with Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia.

Tunisia is currently one of the major sources of asylum seekers. Most of those leaving the country do so for economic reasons.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR