MIGRATION: Kosovo exodus concerns Swiss president

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga  has expressed concern about continuing mass emigration from Kosovo during an official visit from Kosovan President Atifete Jahjaga.

“The republic needs its own young, qualified citizens,” Sommaruga said in Bern on Monday, pointing to the recent increase in asylum applications from citizens of Kosovo in a number of European countries.

She said that while Switzerland was only marginally affected, the increase was particularly unbeneficial for Kosovo as it needed its these citizens at home to help implement reforms and drive economic growth.

Sommaruga said Switzerland would continue its commitment to the migration partnership with Kosovo. This regular exchange has made it possible to initiate valuable projects in the field of asylum and migration, such as the integration of minorities, she said.

In addition, cooperation has also been strengthened with regard to readmission of Kosovan nationals to their home country.

The two presidents also discussed ways of tackling the issue of would-be jihad fighters.

Switzerland is home to one of the largest Kosovan diaspora populations. Around 170,000 people with Kosovan origins live in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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