The Swiss foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, has created a new ambassadorship to deal exclusively with Switzerland’s relations with its five neighbours France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
Hans Jakob Roth, the diplomat chosen for the task, will take on his new function soon according to foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier, who confirmed a report in the “Sonntag” newpaper.
The nomination is in line with the four strategic goals for foreign policy recently defined by the Swiss government, more specifically its aim of nurturing and increasing relations with neighbouring countries.
The cabinet intends to focus foreign policy until 2015 to a large extent on Europe, drawing back from the more global approach and so-called “active” neutrality pursued under the previous foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey.
swissinfo.ch and agencies