BERN (Sputnik) – Switzerland believes that it is high time to solve the North Korean issue through a dialogue and is ready to serve as a mediator in the possible negotiations, country’s President Doris Leuthard said on Monday.
"The sanctions against North Korea have been existing for many years but that does not change the situation. People are suffering but continue to support the country’s leadership. That is why I believe that it is high time to launch the dialogue," the president said, adding that Switzerland was ready to be a mediator in the settlement talks.
However, according to the Swiss Foreign Ministry, no states have so far responded to the offer.
None of the concerned parties have yet responded to Switzerland's offer to act as a mediator in talks on North Korean crisis, but it remains ready to help, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) told Sputnik on Monday.
Meanwhile, Filipino Lombardi, a lawmaker from the Swiss Christian Democratic People's Party and a co-chair of the Swiss-Russian friendship groupy, told Sputnik on Monday that Switzerland, which can "naturally" mediate between conflicting sides as a neutral country, could host negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang to settle the Korean peninsula crisis in Geneva.
"It is natural for Switzerland, being a neutral country, not a member of any military alliance, to play this mediator function in the case of conflicts. We did it successfully between Russia and Georgia, for instance, some years ago. We are contributing within the OSCE to a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine and we could do this also between the United States and North Korea," Lombardi said.
According to Filipino Lombardi, who is also a co-chair of its Swiss-Russian friendship group, representatives of both Washington and Pyongyang could meet in a number of places to discuss the conflict and the de-escalation steps, but Geneva is "a traditional place for such kind of meetings."
The South Korean Environment Ministry has made a decision to conditionally approve the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems deployment on the territory of the Asian nation, local media reported Monday.