The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is to close five of its embassies abroad and make staff cuts.
“We are seeing a shift in economic and political power towards the south and the east, and especially towards Asia, which is gaining a more prominent role. This is having consequences for Norwegian interests,” says Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in a press statement.
Minister Støre goes on to say embassies in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast, Bogotá in Colombia, Dili (East Timor), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Managua in Nicaragua are to be shut to allow an increase in Norway’s diplomatic presence next year in China, Russia, Brazil, India, and Indonesia.
Establishing a presence in Accra in Ghana is also being considered. The reorganisation is part of an ongoing three-year process.
In addition to the closures, there will be staff cuts inAntananarivo (Madagascar), Brussels, and some other European countries. Responsibility for the Caribbean is to be transferred from Oslo to Havana.
“I believe this will enable us to promote Norwegian interests more effectively in a changing world and to make more efficient use of the Foreign Service’s resources,” the Foreigner Minister says.
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