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Sweden to close six embassies, open 10 new ones

The Swedish government Thursday said it would close six of its embassies, including five in Europe, this year and open 10 new embassies.

Embassies facing closure were based in European Union members Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia.        

"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," Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said.        

Meanwhile, Sweden is to upgrade its missions in Albania, Kosovo, Georgia and Moldova to embassies.        

"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," Bildt added.        

The sixth embassy to be closed was in Dakar, Senegal, while section offices were to be upgraded in Senegal’s West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali as well as Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia.        

International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said "a stronger presence on the spot" would  benefit development aid cooperation.        

–DPA   

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