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Norway is to close its embassy in Asmara, Eritrea, while Nigeria and Kenya will be given extra resources in order to strengthen
their efforts concerning Niger and Somalia situation respectively. Meanwhile, a new embassy was opened in Accra, Ghana, and a joint Nordic embassy office was opened in Yangon, Myanmar.
When Espen Barth Eide , Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway visited Addis Ababa in December this year to discuss on substantially regional issues and bilateral relations with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom (PhD) both ministers emphasized on regional issues.
“We talked about the situation in South Sudan, where we have a shared concern about lack of progress. We talked about the positive developments in Somalia and how we can plug-in the political vacuum left by Al Shabab,” said Eide to journalists after his meeting with Tedros. Eide said that the Horn Africa is moving in good direction. “We see economic growth; we see less conflict.”
Meanwhile, Eide has told Tedros that Norway is closing up its embassy in Asmara.
Norway is committed to continue the process of moving its Foreign Service’s resources to where they are most needed in order to effectively safeguard its interest, according to the Foreign Minister.
Norway is making changes in its diplomatic presence in Africa, as the country announced in early 2012. Staff levels at some missions in Africa will also be reduced in order to free up resources.
The press briefing states that in recent years the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strengthened Norway’s presence in countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and Russia. In order to do this, several diplomatic and consular missions have been closed and staff levels at other missions have been reduced. A total of eight missions were closed in 2011 and 2012.
“As well as ensuring that we have missions in countries where we can best promote Norway’s interests, it is also important that we organize the Foreign Service in such a way that we can take full advantage of the opportunities provided by information technology. We can also improve the efficiency of the Foreign Service by establishing joint Nordic missions. The recently established embassy office in Yangon is a good example of this type of Nordic cooperation,” said Eide.
The country has also decided to close the embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, and re-establish an embassy in Bogotá, Colombia as the latter’s economy is undergoing rapid growth and government is pursuing an active reform policy.