Sweden to close embassies, open others

Jan. 21, 2010 at 5:44 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Swedish authorities said Thursday the country will close six embassies by year's end and open 10 new ones focused on foreign aid programs.

Including these changes, the government in Stockholm will have opened 40 and closed 54 foreign missions between 1990 and the end of 2010, The Local reported.

"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," said Carl Bildt, the minister for foreign affairs.

In Europe, Sweden plans to upgrade section offices to full embassies in Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova and Albania. Expansion of section offices will occur in West Africa in Mali, Burkina Faso and Liberia. Section offices in Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia will be upgraded to full embassies.

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