The note, written ahead of a May 2009 trip by Bildt to Washington to meet with US National Security Advisor James Jones, also described Bildt as a respected politician who speaks frankly, but who has “limited political skills,” according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.
According to SvD, Bildt figured more prominently than almost any other Swedish political figure in US diplomatic correspondence from Stockholm released by WikiLeaks.
In a report authored by the American embassy’s second in command, Robert Silverman, Bildt is portrayed as a politician who believes in his own power.
He is, according to the US embassy, “A Medium-Sized Dog with Big Dog Attitude.”
Current US ambassador Matthew Barzun also urges his colleagues in Washington to be well-read and to clearly state their views when meeting Bildt who can “otherwise easily dominate a conversation, spiked with comments of dry humour,” in a September 2009 note.
The report also describes Bildt as being respected in Sweden, having a great deal of knowledge about international affairs, and an impressive network of contacts.
Silverman adds in his cable that Bildt is given a great deal of leeway to shape Swedish foreign policy, but that he isn’t especially close to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Barzun also describes Bildt as being given a “long leash” to formulating foreign policy, which can sometimes irritate Reinfeldt aides who aren’t always informed ahead of time.