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Written by M:)

January 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thank You, Ambassador Ziswiler

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“We were so fortunate to have Ambassador Ziswiler as the representative of Switzerland during what could be described tumultuous times in Swiss-American relations. Thank you, Herr Ziswiler!”

Michael Gaedeke
Swiss Center Los Angeles

Full Story from “Switzerland Calling!”


Urs Ziswiler Swiss Ambassador to the United States of America Dear Reader,

In my nearly five years as Swiss Ambassador in Washington, I have experienced how decidedly close and friendly the relations between Switzerland and the United States have proved to be. There is substance to the frequently quoted phrase “Sister Republics.” The partnership between our two countries is characterized by similar fundamentals of government and values. However, this may not obscure the fact that in the last few decades differences of opinion have repeatedly arisen, as illustrated by the UBS case and the extradition of Roman Polanski. I am proud that we were always able to find solutions which testified to mutual recognition and respect. Time and again, the U.S. demonstrates its attitude of partnership toward us, whether by the above-average number of personal contacts between U.S. cabinet members and Swiss federal councillors or by entrusting us with the protecting power mandates. Switzerland has represented the United States in Cuba since 1961 and in Iran since 1980. That commitment is still highly appreciated and actively pursued, as demonstrated by the release of the American citizen Sarah Shourd from Iranian detention, for example.

Time and again, we are presented with new opportunities for further strengthening our relations, whether in the area of science and technology or politics and democracy. The concept of the “debt brake” and Swiss healthcare policy, for example, have received not only praise and recognition from the American side, but have also illustrated an interest in Swiss approaches to solutions. Americans regard Switzerland positively, as demonstrated by a recent study.

Along with this openness, on a personal level, I have always been fascinated by the optimism and the pioneer spirit of the Americans. Here the glass is never half empty, but always half full. This attitude paired with entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness to always do one’s best guarantees that the United States is the undisputed leader in many areas. The worst financial and economic crisis since the thirties, however, has left its mark. Unlike beforehand, today many Americans doubt that their children will inevitably be better off than they themselves are. The same confidence in the country that one encountered still a few years ago is no longer prevalent. I hope, however, and in my heart I am also optimistic that the old American spirit will return. We Swiss with our sometimes especially critical attitude should learn a thing or two from this spirit time and again. During my time in Washington, I personally was able to learn much from this positive basic attitude. With rich memories and refueled with good spirit, I would like to say, “Good-bye America, see you soon!”

Best regards,
Ambassador Urs Ziswiler

Written by M:)

November 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

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