• Sweden's news in English

Jan Eliasson Sweden's new foreign minister

The Local · 27 Mar 2006, 17:40

Published: 27 Mar 2006 17:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Eliasson takes over from Laila Freivalds, who was forced to resign last week amid allegations that she had lied to the press over her involvement in contact between foreign ministry officials and an internet company which hosted a site with pictures of the prophet Muhammad.

Currently the president of the UN General Assembly, Eliasson will begin his new role on April 24th. Until then Carin Jämtin, the international aid minister in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, will be acting foreign minister.

"Jan Eliasson is a person with a large international contact network and he will be able to give Sweden a prominent role in international politics," said Persson.

"When you have access to a candidate with Eliasson's qualifications it's a simple choice to make," he added.

Jan Eliasson served as Sweden's ambassador in Washington, state secretary in the foreign ministry and ambassador to the UN, before becoming the UN's assembly president last September.

"I am honoured and proud," he told reporters.

"We live in a changing world and must have dynamic policies. There is a respect for Swedish politics - I hope we will maintain that."

As well as remaining in her role as aid minister, Carin Jämtin - who was tipped to take over after Laila Freivalds - will become deputy foreign minister. She said that she had great respect for her new boss.

"That respect has grown during the last two years," said Jämtin, adding that she looked forward to working with Eliasson.

Hans Dahlgren will continue in his role as cabinet secretary in the foreign ministry.

Jan Eliasson's will remain as president of the UN General Assembly until September 11th. He said that would not affect his work as Sweden's foreign minister, but the leader of the Moderates, Fredrik Reinfeldt, was not so sure.

"You could say that Sweden now has a foreign minister who will de facto be based in New York," said Reinfeldt.

"But the fact that Eliasson has been chosen could at least lay the foundations for a more nuanced and realistic image of the USA," he added.

Eliasson, 65, was born in Gothenburg and has been one of Sweden's foremost public servants in the field of foreign affairs. In 1967 he took his first foreign ministry role as an attaché, and from 1983 to 1987 he was head of the ministry's political department.

Story continues below…

Between 1988 and 1992 he was Sweden's ambassador to the UN, and in 1994 he became cabinet secretary, the foreign ministry's most senior civil servant.

Eliasson was the personal advisor to Olof Palme during the murdered prime minister's mediation work in the Iran-Iraq conflict. From 2000 to 2005 he was Sweden's ambassador to the United States.

Is Jan Eliasson a good choice? Discuss!

The Local/TT/AFP

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available