‘Feeling of excitement’: Americans in Switzerland welcome Joe Biden’s visit

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 14 Jun, 2021 Updated Mon 14 Jun 2021 14:51 CEST
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The US president is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for a high-level summit in the Swiss city of Geneva on Wednesday.

The last time a US president came to Switzerland — Donald Trump in January 2018 — he was met by a booing audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos and by protests in the streets of Bern.

And a group of Americans living in Zurich even went so far as to apologise for the  “damage” that the Trump administration was causing around the world. 

“We were so ashamed and embarrassed, and had such a big impulse to say ‘we are so sorry’”, an American living in Zurich, Alexandra Dufresne, told The Local at the time.

However, this time around, the mood among US citizens in Switzerland is more celebratory.

“As US citizens abroad, we feel directly the impact of US foreign policy, so we welcome Biden’s restorative and constructive approach”, Eric Burns, the chair of Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) said in a statement.

The group’s vice-chair, Liz Voss, added that “the feeling of relief and excitement as we prepare for President Biden's visit is a welcome change from our political activism over the past four years”, during the Trump administration.

Another DACH member, Amy Kasper told The Local that “it is great to see Biden acting on his promise to intentionally engage with other strong democracies to reinvigorate democratic values”.

“This renewal of our partnerships allows me to breathe a bit easier as a US citizen living abroad”, she added.

But it is not only Democrats who are enthusiastic about Biden’s visit.

Susanne, who lives in Vaud, is a registered Republican.

However, her party affiliation “doesn’t prevent me from wishing that Biden does a good job. I hope his visit here is successful. That’s all any American can hope for”.

To welcome Biden to Geneva, and to “celebrate the return of decency to the White House”, DACH is organising “a socially-distanced public rally” at the Cornavin train station from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on June 16th.

READ MORE: Putin-Biden Geneva summit set for lakeside villa

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/06/14 14:51

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