‘Shy statesman’ Burkhalter receives mixed rating

The decision of Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to step down at the end of October has surprised many in Switzerland – including the Swiss press. Assessments of his performance are divided.  “Didier Burkhalter, the lonely diplomat,” declared the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Thursday, the day after the cabinet minister announced his resignation. “It’s as if this keen football fan played in two leagues simultaneously. In the Premier League, he was the diplomatic star, who was celebrated for his presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014 and whom the press imagined as possible successor to Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations.”  Then there was the second division player, who “suffered the war of the trenches in the cabinet, the repeated shots from the press and opposition from his own party”, the paper added.  Burkhalter, 57, announced on Wednesday that he would leave his cabinet post at the end of October as it was time to “write a new page in …