Switzerland closes its Embassy in Damascus

Bern, Press release, 01.03.2012

Position - For reasons of security, Switzerland temporarily closed its Embassy in Damascus as of 29 February 2012. Last August, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA had already called the Swiss Ambassador back to Bern for consultations. Furthermore, since November 2011, the FDFA has been calling upon Swiss citizens in Syria to leave the country immediately.

Swiss citizens living in Syria were given due notice that the Embassy would be closed and consular services transferred to Beirut. They were urged to anticipate the submission of any eventual family members’ visa applications, applications to renew travel documents, and other requests for consular services. Swiss citizens who are in need of help can contact the Swiss Embassy in Beirut at tel. +961 1 324 129; bey.vertretung@eda.admin.ch or the FDFA Consular Helpline at tel. +41 800 24 7 365; helpline@eda.admin.ch. 

As of 30 November 2011, the FDFA has been calling upon Swiss citizens to leave the country as long as commercial means of transportation are still available (cf. http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/de/home/travad/hidden/hidde2/syria.html). And the Embassy has regularly repeated this appeal to leave the country in the various e-mail and telephone contacts it has had with the Swiss community.

A total of 180 Swiss citizens are registered with the Embassy, some 150 of whom still remain in the county. A large majority of the Swiss citizens in Syria hold dual nationality, i.e., about 80% (or 147 individuals). About two-thirds of the Swiss colony live in Damascus, and about one-sixth in Aleppo.


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs