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Archive for Switzerland

Newsline: Iran protests Trump’s visa ban through Swiss ambassador

Iran summoned Switzerland’s ambassador, who represents Washington’s interests in Tehran, to protest President Donald Trump’s visa ban on Iranians, the foreign ministry said. Swiss ambassador Giulio Haas was “handed a letter of protest on the recent executive order by the US President and the imposed limitations and discriminatory behaviour against Iranian citizens travelling to America,” said spokesman Bahram Ghasemi. A senior diplomat told the ambassador that Trump’s order was “baseless, discriminatory and unacceptable”. Ghasemi said Iranian citizens have been victimized by “US-backed terror groups” for decades, and been law-abiding citizens wherever they have settled. Haas said he would communicate the protest promptly to the US State Department. With more than one million Iranians living in the US, Trump’s visa ban — which covers seven Muslim countries — has caused has chaos for students, businessmen and families.


Newsline: US ambassador took oath of office on Kindle

US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Suzi LeVine took her oath not by placing her hand on the Constitution or the Bible, but on a Kindle. On May 30, Suzi LeVine was sworn in as the US ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. But instead of placing her hand on the Bible or the US Constitution as is customary, LeVine took the oath of office on an Amazon Kindle Touch. To be fair, the Kindle displayed the 19th amendment of the US Constitution while she took the oath, but it’s still the strangest swearing in we’ve come across.


Newsline: Fiji opens embassy in Geneva

Fiji’s Embassy in Geneva is officially opened today by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. The newly established missions will handle international obligations under the United Nations which Fiji is a signatory to. Forein Affairs Permanent Secretary Amena Yauvoli says this is also in line with the government policy to enhance relationship and cooperation with other countries. ‘Initially right now the office is mandated to look at about more than thirty organizations based in Geneva apart from being accredited the confederation of Switzerland which is the host government ’ Nazhat Shameem, Fiji’s Permanent Representative is already in Geneva.


Newsline: Vietnam diplomat eyes asylum in Switzerland

A Vietnamese diplomat once posted at the country’s consulate in Geneva said he has sought political asylum in Switzerland, just days before a UN review of Vietnam’s human rights record. Dang Xuong Hung, who served as the consul from 2008 to 2012, when he formally withdrew from the Vietnamese Communist Party, told Geneva station Leman Bleu that he had applied for Swiss asylum last October. Dang, who began working for the Vietnamese foreign ministry in 1983, blamed the one-party system for “the total crisis” Vietnam was experiencing in all areas. The news came ahead of a review before the UN’s top human rights body of Vietnam’s rights record. In a letter to the Vietnamese delegation attending the so-called Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human rights Council, Dang voiced empathy with diplomats who “care about Vietnam, but are shackled by invisible bonds.” He urged the delegation to openly admit to Vietnam’s violations.


Newsline: Fiji prepares to open embassy in Geneva

Fiji is ready to open its new Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland, in March next year. This was revealed by Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amena Yauvoli. PACNEWS reports $2.5 million has been allocated for the new mission. Yauvoli says they are hoping to have the opening done by the Prime Minister in March.


Newsline: US Embassy in Switzerland to relinquish Tina Turner’s citizenship

Soul music legend Tina Turner filed paperwork in late October at the US Embassy in Switzerland to relinquish her citizenship, media reports said. The US Embassy in Bern, Switzerland confirmed that she was in the embassy in late October to sign her “Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of US citizenship.” The 73-year-old singer, known for such hits as “Proud Mary”, “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, signed the forms to voluntarily relinquish her citizenship Oct 24, The Washington Post reported. Turner affirmed in the documents that she does not have strong ties to the US, “except for family, and has no plans to reside in the US in the future,” the daily said. Turner, who was born in Nutbush, Tennessee, Nov 26, 1939, has lived in Switzerland for more than two decades and married her long-time boyfriend, German producer Erwin Bach, in July. Turner, who has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records in her career, became a Swiss citizen April 10.


Newsline: British embassy issues theft warning for travellers to Switzerland

The Foreign Office has issued a theft warning for travellers heading to Switzerland. An update on its website said the British embassy has recently received increased reports of theft especially in larger cities, at Geneva airport and on trains to and from Geneva. The website said: “There is a low rate of serious crime in Switzerland. However, the British Embassy has recently received increased reports of theft especially in larger cities, at Geneva airport and on trains to/from Geneva. “Watch out for pickpockets, confidence tricksters and thieves in city centres, airports, railway stations, on trains and in other public places.”