Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain

05/24/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/24/2021 07:00

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs travels to Guinea Bissau and Ivory Coast

​The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Cristina Gallach, continues her cycle of trips carried out to date to various countries in West Africa, with visits to Guinea Bissau and the Ivory Coast.

The agenda of the official visit to Guinea Bissau begins today and continues into tomorrow, which follows on from the visit to Spain by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Suzi Barbosa, in January 2021. The trip seeks to step up cooperation on migration and in the tourism and fishing sectors, which are of special interest to Spanish companies, as well as to develop the debt swap process through development investments in the country.

The Ivory Coast will be the second port of call in this new African trip, which she will visit on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 May. The recently approved Focus on Africa 2023, along with the 3rd Africa Plan, place the Ivory Coast as a privileged and priority partner for Spain.

As well as boosting the negotiations on the Agreement for the Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments (Spanish acronym: APPRI), the State secretary will meet with Spanish companies with a presence in the country. As regards security, Spain wishes to reiterate its support in halting the expansion of the terrorist threat from the Sahel, and will visit the Regional Centre for the Coordination of Maritime Security, which fights piracy and other organised crime networks.
Bilateral cooperation on security is materialised in the area of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, where the Spanish Navy carries out training and advisory work for the Ivory Coast Navy, along with joint manoeuvres through the half-yearly deployment of a Spanish Navy vessel. The Maritime Action vessel 'Furor' is scheduled to dock in Abidjan Port on 31 May, where it will remain until 5 June.

Both in Guinea Bissau and in the Ivory Coast, Cristina Gallach plans to meet with a group of women leaders to exchange experiences with them within the framework of the feminist foreign policy that the government is promoting.

This cycle of trips began in Gambia in December last year, and continued with visits to Guinea Conakry and Ghana in February this year. In turn, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, travelled to Angola and Senegal in April this year. Prior to that, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, had travelled to Mauritania (in June 2020) and to Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso (in October 2020) and ended her African tour by visiting Senegal (in November 2020). Due to their geographic location, these countries play a key role in the fight against illegal migration.

Her trip will end with a final visit on Friday 28, May to Casa Africa in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where she will also visit the pre-positioning logistics centre of the World Food Programme for West Africa, and the Canary Islands Regional Coordination Centre of the Guardia Civil.