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‘Not so pessimistic’ Swiss president expresses confidence in Trump’s leadership

Schneider-Ammann’s turn as the Swiss president ends this year, with fellow Swiss cabinet member Doris Leuthard taking over the reins in 2017.

(Keystone)

Johann Schneider-Ammann says he feels positive about Donald Trump’s imminent presidency of the United States, even though he was surprised by the November election outcome.

"I had two congratulatory letters to sign on the eve of the election, and I signed only one of them. Then I had to sign the other the next morning. I was wrong, too," Switzerland's president said in an interview Sunday with German-language Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag.

Schneider-Ammann said that during a phone call with Trump this past Wednesday, he “succeeded in putting Switzerland on the geopolitical map of the next president of the United States”. For his part, the president-elect expressed his respect for Switzerland, and indicated an interest in learning more about its economic situation.

Schneider-Ammann, who is president until the end of the year as part of Switzerland's rotating presidency among seven cabinet members, is also the nation's economics minister.

“I am not so pessimistic,” he said in reference to Trump’s presidency, pointing to the fact that the real estate mogul has selected other big business names for his cabinet.

“I suppose that they have also succeeded in business by conquering additional markets,” Schneider-Ammann added, emphasizing that the opening of markets is “the only chance for Switzerland”.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/cl

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