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Swiss foreign minister to step down, citing personal reasons

Associated Press logo Associated Press 14/06/2017

GENEVA — Former Swiss president and current Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter says he will resign as the Alpine country's top diplomat later this year because he wants a change of career and more of a personal life.

Burkhalter, a politician for some 30 years who has been foreign minister since 2012, said he'll step down on Oct. 31. He will also resign from Switzerland's seven-person executive, the Federal Council. The Swiss presidency rotates among its members every year.

Burkhalter, 57, grew up near the French-speaking city of Neuchatel and hails from the center-right Liberal-Radical party.

His best-known diplomatic activities have included taking on issues like Ukraine's crisis involving pro-Russian separatists and helping Switzerland play host to talks between Iran and five world powers that led to an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.

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