President criticised for meeting with autocratic leaders
The Swiss president is being criticised in some quarters for a world tour which seems to be focusing on autocratic leaders.
Ueli Maurer, who’s a member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, met the Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday.
This year he’s also met with Saudi Arabian leaders and in April he went to China.
Some believe the visits are sending the wrong message – but others acknowledge it’s difficult for a small neutral nation to strike a balance.
The government points out Switzerland is a go-between in many of the world’s hot spots, such as Syria, Ukraine and Georgia. Good contacts on all sides is important.
On his visit to Russia, Maurer called on Russia to engage more with the UN and other international bodies to achieve peace in Syria.