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Pompeo US top diplomat sets foot in Swiss capital

American Secretary of State Pompeo with his entourage in Bern's Old City

American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo with his wife (centre) strolling through the cobbled streets around the iconic clocktower of Bern.

(Keystone/Peter Klaunzer)

American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has paid a private visit to the Swiss capital, Bern, ahead of attending an informal forum of mostly western political leaders, experts from industry and finance in the Lake Geneva region.

Pompeo was given a short tour of the Swiss parliament building and strolled trough the old town of Bern with his entourage on Saturday amid high security.

It’s apparently the first visit by a United States top diplomat to the Swiss capital in more than two decades and comes just weeks after President Trump met the Swiss president Ueli Maurer at the White House in Washington.

Christa Markwalder, a member of parliamentary group Switzerland- United States, proudly posted this picture on her twitter accountexternal link.

markwalter tweet

tweet christa markwalder

Pompeo is also attending a session of the annual Bilderberg meeting in the town of Montreux on Saturday.

On Sunday, Pompeo, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is due to hold talks with the Swiss foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis, in Bellinzona.

The United States says the aim of Pompeo’s visit – part of a larger tour of European countries – is to strengthen economic ties and security issues.

christa Markwalder (left) and Mike Pompeo  in the Swiss parliament building

Pompeo (right) and Markwalder posing in front of the statue of the three mythical  founding fathers of Switzerland in the entrance hall of the Swiss parliament building. 

(Keystone/Peter Klaunzer)

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Cassis met with Pompeo in Lugano, rather than Bellinzona. We regret this error.

swissinfo.ch/urs

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