||| Swisshippo | Dreamstime |||
Taking up its classic role as a peace mediator, Swiss President Doris Leuthard declared on Monday at a news conference in the Swiss city of Bern that her government would be ready to offer a peaceful solution and place were the parties of the current US - North Korea tensions could have a talk.
At a news conference this morning, she said: "We are ready to offer our role for good services as a mediator. I think in the upcoming weeks a lot will depend on how the U.S. and China can have an influence in this crisis. That's why I think Switzerland (and Sweden) can have a role behind the curtain. It is really time now to sit down at a table. Big powers have a responsibility."
The famous Swiss neutrality is the key principle to its foreign policy. It dictates that Switzerland is never to be involved in any armed conflicts between other states and was implement since 1815. Switzerland remained neutral in both world wars and European powers have always respected this. Because of its longstanding neutral stance towards any conflict, the Swiss government has an impeccable relation as to hosting peace talks. The Iran - US nuclear deal of last year was handled in Lausanne, Switzerland as well.
Switzerland proposed to hold ministerial talks as a first step, inviting both parties to send delegates to either Lausanne, Zurich or Geneva.
Meanwhile, as both South Korea and the North are readying further weapons to be tested, the UN Security Council will meet later this Monday to discuss new sanctions against the isolated regime. The only hope for this rests with China, which controls most of the remaining trade with North Korea.
The Swiss president said about the imposing of sanctions that these "did not change many things" when it came to convincing Pyongyang (the North Korean capital) to abandon its weapons programs.
"I think it really is time for dialogue," President Leuthard said.
We await a reaction from the White House.