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Top diplomat Rossier resigns amid ambassador reshuffle

Yves Rossier (right) during the opening ceremony of the Swiss embassy in Moscow in 2019. Co-cutters were Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis (centre) and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Keystone / Yuri Kochetkov

State Secretary and Swiss Ambassador to Moscow Yves Rossier has handed in his notice, the foreign ministry has confirmed. Wednesday also saw various ambassadorial positions reassigned around the world.

This content was published on February 17, 2021 - 17:50
Keystone-SDA/ts

Rossier, 60, left the foreign ministry at his own request, the ministry said in response to a request from the Keystone-SDA news agency. The ministry did not comment on the reasons for the resignation.

From 2012 to 2016 Rossier was Swiss State Secretary and as such played a key role in preparatory talks with the European Union over Switzerland’s framework agreement with the EU. He then moved to Russia.

His term of office in Moscow expired at the end of 2020, and the foreign ministry wanted to transfer him to the Latvian capital Riga, according to the Tages-AnzeigerExternal link in December. The newspaper said Rossier’s preferred destinations were London or Ankara, but the foreign ministry had other ideas. It reportedly offered Rossier several alternatives, including a post in Geneva, but he rejected these as well as Riga.

Reshuffle

Also on Wednesday the government reshuffled a number of ambassadorial posts. These include Rita Adam, currently head of mission in Rome, who will head to Brussels as ambassador and head of Switzerland’s mission to the European Union.

Adam will replace Urs Bucher, whom the government has appointed as ambassador to Israel, based in Tel Aviv. In Rome, Adam will be succeeded by Monika Schmutz Kirgöz, currently head of mission in Beirut. Marion Weichelt Krupski, currently head of mission in Dakar, Senegal, will become the new ambassador in Lebanon.

Christian Dussey, currently director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, has been appointed ambassador to Iran, based in Tehran. Markus Leitner will move from Tehran to London.

Alexandre Fasel, currently Switzerland’s man in the UK, has been given a new function, Special Representative for “Science Diplomacy”.

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