Friday, July 20, 2001

Reynolds passes Senate hearing

By Derrick DePledge
Enquirer Washington Bureau

        WASHINGTON — Mercer Reynolds III, President Bush's choice for ambassador to Switzerland, told the Senate on Thursday he would enhance the business and political interests of the United States in the important world financial and diplomatic center.

        “Switzerland and the United States share common values in promoting peace and stability, respect for human rights, democratic values and free markets,” said Mr. Reynolds, of Indian Hill, who also would serve as ambassador to Liechtenstein.

        Mr. Reynolds was one of seven ambassadorial nominees to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will send the nominations to the Senate for confirmation.

        Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said the committee would move quickly so the Bush administration could make a smooth foreign policy transition.

        He asked Mr. Reynolds to monitor Switzerland's role in peacekeeping efforts in Europe and update the committee on the Swiss government's progress in recovering assets hidden by the Nazis during World War II.

        Ohio's Republican senators, Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, introduced Mr. Reynolds, whose wife, Gabrielle, and family were in the audience.

        Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, described Mr. Reynolds as the “perfect kind of person to represent our country overseas.”

        Mr. Reynolds and his investment partner, William O. DeWitt Jr., have been friends with Mr. Bush since the 1980s and were partners with Mr. Bush in oil ventures and the Texas Rangers baseball team. They were valuable fund-raisers for Mr. Bush.


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