Former Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis assumed the presidential post Saturday in a country that has a rotating presidency.
Cassis took over from Guy Parmelin on Friday via phone, government spokesman Andre Simonazzi said on Twitter.
He is the first president from Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region of Ticino in this century and urged unity in the coronavirus pandemic during his New Year’s speech.
The pandemic has driven the Swiss apart but it has not divided us. We will not let ourselves be divided, he said.
Cassis served as vice president in 2021 and on Dec. 8 he was elected president for 2022.