Six Embassies Close, Ten Open
Swedish embassies in six countries are closing, but ten more are opening. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt announced at a press conference Thursday the closure of the embassies in European Union countries Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The news comes just three weeks after the end of the Swedish EU presidency.
Bildt tells Swedish Radio News that contact with EU countries is regular and close already. Instead the focus in Europe is shifting to the Balkans and Eastern Europe, with new embassies in Albania, Georgia, Kosovo, and Moldova.
In Africa, the embassy in Senegal is closing, but diplomatic missions are being upgraded to embassies in four countries where there is Swedish development assistance: Burkino Faso, Liberia, Mali, and Rwanda.
Other new embassies are opening in Bolivia and Cambodia.
Carl Bildt told the press: "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. We want to be where we make the best possible use of the money that a Swedish presence costs."