Jonas Hafström

US Ambassador Appointment Criticised

After strongly criticising the Social Democratic government last year about procedures in choosing ambassadors, the current center-right Alliance government has come under fire after naming Jonas Hafström as Sweden’s new ambassador to the United States.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had promised to over see procedures involved in choosing ambassadors last year if the center-right Alliance won the 2006 election.

Ambassadors in Sweden are appointed by the sitting government, and there has been criticism that the best candidates are not chosen because the position is not openly recruited.

There has also been criticism over the appointment of Hafström because he is very close to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt having serves as a foreign policy advisor to Bildt, as well as sitting on the board of the company Vostok Nafta while at the same time working at the Foreign Ministry.

Haftström is currently Sweden’s ambassador in Thailand. The position of Ambassador to the United States is considered to be one of the most prominent positions in the Foreign Service.

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