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Ambassador: US won’t have much time for Switzerland

Joe Biden at the WEF's annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos in 2017 © Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

Jacques Pitteloud, the Swiss ambassador to the United States, does not foresee an improvement in bilateral relations following the change of power in Washington. The Biden administration will “probably not have much time for Switzerland”, he says.

This content was published on January 20, 2021 - 11:29
Keystone-SDA/ts
Jacques Pitteloud © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The new US administration simply has too many problems to solve, he said in an interviewExternal link with newspaper Blick, published on Wednesday.

Pitteloud, who will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday, also expressed scepticism about a free-trade agreement between Switzerland and the United States.

“The new administration around Joe Biden will certainly have to deal with other problems first,” he said. “Had Donald Trump been given a second term as US president, Switzerland might have had a slightly better chance for a free-trade agreement,” he reckoned, echoing comments made at the weekend by Edward McMullen, the outgoing US ambassador to Switzerland.

“But we will continue to work towards a free-trade agreement.”

Iran

Pitteloud also expects little change regarding Switzerland’s representation of US interests in Iran.

“Swiss diplomats in Washington and Tehran ensure at all times that messages are passed between the two governments as quickly as possible,” he explained.

There have been ups and downs between the two states for 40 years, he said. But both the US and Iran are facing power changes this year – “it’s a delicate time”.

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