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Borer ends diplomatic career

Thomas Borer and his wife, Shawne Fielding, will not be returning to Bern

(Keystone)

Switzerland's ambassador to Berlin, Thomas Borer, has announced he is leaving the diplomatic service to pursue a career in business.

He confirmed on Saturday that he would be staying in Berlin and returning to the private sector to advise companies with interests in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

In announcing his decision, Borer had some harsh words for the Swiss foreign ministry.

"This step is necessary for personal and professional reasons, including my ministry's current and well-documented lack of support and loyalty," he said in a statement.

Foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, recalled Borer to Bern earlier this month saying he could no longer effectively fulfil his mission in Berlin. The decision followed allegations in the "SonntagsBlick" that he had received late-nights visits at the embassy from a 34-year-old woman, while his wife was away.

Borer denied the claims and launched a legal action against the paper. But the story sparked off weeks of fierce public debate about Swiss media standards and ended in his recall.

The foreign ministry had offered him a new post as ambassador for international relations, but Borer said he had turned down the post.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry, Rudi Christen, said Borer had not formally handed in his resignation.

Borer was posted to Berlin three years ago. He and his wife, Shawne Fielding, built a reputation as A-list partygoers. Supporters said their outgoing style had helped explode many of the stereotypes about Swiss conservatism. But critics said their behaviour had been inappropriate.

The current Swiss ambassador to the Philippines, Werner Baumann, has been named as Borer's successor.

The Berlin posting is considered one of Switzerland's most important diplomatic missions.

swissinfo with agencies

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