Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA

"The protection of universal values is a long-term commitment"

In an interview with several francophone Swiss newspapers, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis talks about current political issues. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) reaffirms Switzerland's values and in particular the importance of dialogue and cooperation.

05.02.2021
Photomontage with Ignazio Cassis looking into the camera and two speech bubble icons with question marks and answers representing an interview.

In an interview, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis reaffirms Switzerland's values, in particular the importance of dialogue and cooperation. © FDFA

The interview with Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, which was published in various newspapers in the French-speaking part of Switzerland on Friday morning, covers a wide range of current topics – from the Covid-19 crisis and the European affair to Switzerland's new China-Strategy.

With regard to the Covid-19 pandemic, the head of the FDFA reiterates the importance of solidarity in society. Especially after the Federal Council had to take "new strong measures" to contain the pandemic in Switzerland due to the aggravated epidemiological situation.

With regard to the Europe dossier, Mr Cassis also stresses the importance of dialogue in connection with the upcoming negotiations and assures that "the Federal Council will assess the results as soon as the ongoing talks with the EU have been concluded. These talks will allow us to see whether we can overcome mutual doubts or not." At the same time, Mr Cassis emphasises that "there are always two possibilities in negotiations: to reach an agreement, or not to reach an agreement.

In the interview, the head of the FDFA also talks about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ban on nuclear weapons and about China. Regarding China, Mr Cassis explains that the country strategy will soon be adopted in the Federal Council and stresses that it is in Switzerland's interest to maintain the best possible relationship with China. "The protection of universal values is a long-term commitment," stresses Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis.

Satisfying results of the federal staff survey

To conclude, Mr Cassis also addresses the result of the latest federal staff survey: "The survey shows that satisfaction in my department has risen over the past three years, despite or thanks to various reforms. I am happy about that." The evaluation of the results shows that employees of the federal administration are satisfied overall with their professional situation. In 11 out of 18 survey criteria, the FDFA performed equally well or better than the average for the federal administration.

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