Norway to close consulate general in Houston, other foreign missions
Need for strengthened diplomatic presence in Europe
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will increase staffing at a number of foreign missions in 2023. At the same time, several embassies and foreign missions will be closed.
The embassies in Bratislava in Slovakia, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Pristina in Kosovo are being closed, the ministry stated in a press release.
In addition, the embassy office in Antananarivo in Madagascar and the consulate general in Houston in the United States will be closed. The diplomatic presence will be handled in a different way, including from nearby embassies.
“Closing down Norwegian foreign missions is not an easy decision. These changes have consequences for posted Norwegian diplomats, but to an even greater extent for the local employees at the relevant stations. But we have a responsibility to manage our resources in a way that safeguards Norwegian interests as effectively as possible,” said Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party).
At the same time, staffing will be increased at the embassies in Bucharest in Romania, Kyiv in Ukriane, and Vilnius (Lithunaia), as well as for the EU delegation and the NATO delegation in Brussels.
“The political and security policy situation in Europe is changing rapidly. We must meet this with a strengthened diplomatic presence in the EU, in NATO and in select European countries. Norwegian diplomats are our eyes, ears and voices in Europe, and we need more of that now,” said Huitfeldt.
This article originally appeared in the October 7, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.