The Swiss consulates in Karachi, Pakistan, and Los Angeles should be shut as part of structural reforms, the federal department of foreign affairs recommended on Wednesday.
Switzerland currently has a network of 170 representations abroad. This network is “subject to continuous adaptation based on Switzerland’s interests, developments in political and economic centres of gravity and available financial resources”, the government said in a statementexternal link.
In accordance with the Swiss Abroad Act, the foreign ministry will still need to consult the two parliamentary foreign affairs committees about the closures before a final decision will be taken.
Unlike the Swiss embassies in San Francisco and Islamabad, the consulates in Karachi and Los Angeles no longer provide consular services. The main task of a Swiss consulate is to promote Switzerland’s economy, trade and tourism.
The foreign ministry believes that the Karachi consulate only has limited opportunities to perform these activities. With respect to the Los Angeles consulate, the government suggests its international communication activities could be taken over by the San Francisco embassy.