Swiss foreign minister concerned about war risk in the Middle East

The attack also targeted the Aramco oil processing facility which in turn disrupted global energy supply. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The recent drone attacks on Saudi oil installations have intensified Switzerland’s role as intermediary between the US and Iran.

This content was published on September 22, 2019 - 11:03

Switzerland, which represents the United States in Iran and vice versa, has initiated a mediation between Washington and Tehran, Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said in an interview published on Sunday in the NZZ am Sonntag paper.

"I can't go into details, but the Secretary of State Baeriswyl and myself are active on a technical, political and diplomatic level. We offer our good offices," he said.

According to Cassis, "it only takes a little for something dangerous to happen". The 58-year-old member of Switzerland’s governing Federal Council claims to have intervened directly as an intermediary between Mike Pompeo on the American side and Mohammad Javad Zarifon the Iranian side, including "once on a Saturday at home by telephone". He did not want to get involved in the "speculation on the paternity of attacks".

The drone and missile strikes on September 14 against Saudi oil installations and a processing plant, were claimed by the Yemeni Houthis rebels. But the United States and Saudi Arabia accuse Tehran of being the cause, which the Islamic Republic denies.

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