Sofia, October 8, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
Norway is to close its embassy in Sofia in 2016, along with embassies in three other countries, the Norwegian foreign ministry said.
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 foreign ministry said.
‘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, the foreign ministry statement said.
Apart from the changes to embassies, the number of staff in the Norwegian Foreign Service will be reduced in 2016.
Contact with the countries where embassies are to close will be maintained through other channels, the Norwegian foreign ministry said. The Foreign Service today is made up of 103 missions in 87 countries.
(Photo: Ivan Tenev/Royal Norwegian Embassy)