Changes to Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad

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Next year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make some changes to Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad. The embassies in Astana (Kazakhstan), Sofia (Bulgaria), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe) will close. Norway’s presence in Haiti and southern India will be strengthened.

‘The Ministry must adapt to the changes that are taking place in the world, taking into account the resources available to run missions abroad. The structure of the Foreign Service, and the location, size, tasks and priorities of the missions abroad must be constantly be assessed,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

Norway is to have a flexible and adaptable Foreign Service that is able to carry out its foreign policy and development policy tasks in a professional and effective way. With this is view, a number of changes have been made in recent years.

During the course of this year, the Ministry will open a new consulate general in Mumbai, in southern India, in collaboration with Innovation Norway; and next year, Norway will strengthen its presence in Haiti, one of its focus countries for development cooperation. Meanwhile four missions will close. These are the embassies in Astana (Kazakhstan), Sofia (Bulgaria), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe). In addition, the number of staff in the Foreign Service will be reduced in 2016.

Contact with the countries where embassies are to close will be maintained through other channels.

The Foreign Service today is made up of 103 missions in 87 countries.