Friday, January 22, 2010

POLICY: Sweden to open ten embassies and close six - open office in Georgia (

The Government decided today to close Sweden's embassies in Bratislava, Dakar, Dublin, Ljubljana, Luxembourg and Sofia in the course of this year. At the same time, ten embassies will be opened, partly based on existing section offices.

The Government intends to strengthen Sweden's presence in the Caucasus and the Balkans by upgrading to embassies the present section offices in Pristina (Kosovo), Tbilisi (Georgia), Chisinau (Moldova) and Tirana (Albania). Similarly, Sweden's presence in West Africa will be strengthened by upgrading the section offices in Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Monrovia (Liberia). Section offices will also be upgraded to embassies in Kigali (Rwanda), La Paz (Bolivia) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

"Within the framework of the close cooperation that exists between the EU Member States, there is scope for developing new forms for maintaining bilateral contacts in future," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.

"We want to be where we make the best possible use of the money that a Swedish presence costs. It is positive that we can use our resources to strengthen Sweden's presence in a number of nearby countries," Mr Bildt continues.

"Upgrading section offices to embassies is part of the process of supporting the implementation of Swedish-financed development assistance contributions in countries with which we conduct long-term development cooperation. A stronger presence on the spot is tremendously important for implementing effective, high quality and results-based development cooperation," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson.

The Swedish Foreign Service changes with the world around it. With today's decision and announced changes, Sweden will have opened 40 missions abroad and closed 54 between 1990 and the end of 2010.



Cecilia Julin
Head of Press, Information and Communication Department
+46 8 405 57 25
+46 70 867 39 94

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