Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey revealed that his country, which enjoys the highest living standards in Africa, is moving closer to building a comprehensive strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, which will boost security in West Africa.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Dussey confirmed that the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and Togo have the complete political will to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
Dussey has been on a visit to Riyadh since the beginning of the week.
“This visit allowed me to meet with several Saudi officials and ministers to put forward ideas and discussions that are currently taking place in various fields and to explore ways to enhance cooperation,” Dussey told the newspaper.
Togo’s top diplomat said that talks with Saudi officials covered the fields of agriculture and food security.
Agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa beans, groundnuts, cassava, jasmine rice, corn, and millet were discussed.
More so, Dussey announced that efforts are underway to open a Togolese embassy in Riyadh, saying “it might happen before the end of 2021.”
During a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Dussey discussed issues of common interest, reviewed bilateral relations between Togo and Saudi Arabia, and examined means of boosting cooperation between the Kingdom and the West African nation.
Prince Faisal and Dussey also explored regional developments and international efforts.
“I spoke with my Saudi counterpart about political and security cooperation, especially in West Africa, the Sahel, and the Sahara, at a time when the Togolese government is making an effort to help Mali to restore its security and stability, and Chad to enhance security and peace and fight terrorism,” said Dussey.
“Togo and Saudi Arabia have had understandings of counter-terrorism cooperation since 2017, and the two countries will work together to maximize cooperation in the security sector,” he affirmed.
Dussey pointed out that Riyadh is still lending his country a helping hand on so many levels.
On the migration of African youth to Europe, Dussey stressed the importance of creating reasons to keep young people in their countries, where they could help in building the national economy, security, and political scene.
“The immigration of young people is often a bad idea, and the consequences are not guaranteed,” warned Dussey.
“But there is also a need to provide education and appropriate work for young people in their countries,” he added.
“I see that African youth do not need to immigrate to Europe, as their countries are rich in natural resources and need them,” noted Dussey.
When asked about peacemaking efforts in Yemen, Dussey expressed his belief in the need to get every Yemeni party to push towards achieving security, stability, and peace.
He noted that Saudi Arabia is striving to achieve all that is possible to push Yemenis in the direction of peace. The Kingdom is doing so through initiatives it launched.
Dussey stressed that the Riyadh Initiative is the appropriate way out for Yemen from the current crisis, emphasizing the need for other actors to take serious steps to move peace efforts forward.
The top diplomat noted that Togo will continue to support Saudi efforts to promote peace and find a solution to the Yemeni crisis.