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Swiss envoy Thomas Greminger loses post as Europe’s peace manager

Switzerland’s Thomas Greminger will not be reappointed as secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Greminger’s term in office, which began in July 2017, will expire on July 18, according to Swiss media reports published over the weekend. He was the OSCE’s first Swiss secretary general.

The OSCE is the biggest regional security organisation in the world, with 57 member states in north America, Europe and Asia.

An OSCE meeting held Friday voted on whether to extend the mandates of Greminger and another three officials. The outcome was negative and all four positions must now be filled by December.

The Swiss foreign ministry told news agency Keystone-SDA that Switzerland had spared no effort to ensure that Greminger would remain in his post.

When Switzerland held the presidency of the OSCE in 2014, Greminger was one of the main architects behind the establishment of an observer mission in conflict-stricken Ukraine.

The Swiss ambassador also served as permanent representative to the OSCE, the United Nations and the international organisations in Vienna from 2010 until 2015.