November 5, 2018 / 10:27 AM / 8 days ago

Swiss talk with US, Iran about humanitarian payment channel for food, drugs

ZURICH, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Switzerland is holding talks with the United States and Iran about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help ensure food and drugs keep flowing to the Islamic Republic as Washington re-imposes economic sanctions, the government said.

“Switzerland is committed to safeguarding Swiss economic interests and closely follows the development of the situation. The authorities are in direct contact with the competent authorities of the United States, the EU and Iran,” the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said in an emailed statement on Monday.

“Particularly in the humanitarian field, the federal government is committed to ensuring that food and pharmaceutical products can continue to be supplied from Switzerland,” it said, adding it was in touch with U.S. authorities, Iran and unnamed Swiss companies on developing a humanitarian payment channel. A SECO spokesman declined to elaborate on the plan. (Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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