Calmy-Rey wants greater army presence abroad

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has called for more Swiss army operations abroad.

This content was published on September 28, 2008 - 12:30

In an interview in the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag newspaper, she said that several scenarios had been developed to pursue the idea.

"But the foreign policy committee [of the House of Representatives] has some reservations," she said.

Calmy-Rey said Switzerland as a neutral country was "predestined" to carry out such missions.

She cited the case of Kosovo, which she visited in March and where up to 220 Swiss soldiers are deployed in the Swisscoy support company.

Calmy-Rey said the Swisscoy commander had told her that the number of troops at his disposal was not enough to be able to operate independently.

"I find that a pity... Switzerland must be able to play a more important role."

In other remarks, Calmy-Rey criticised the personal attacks made recently on Defence Minister Samuel Schmid and other cabinet colleagues.

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