Foreign Ministry on US empty ambassador post: "We have no views on the process"
For the first time, the Department of Foreign Affairs comments that the United States has not had an ambassador to Sweden since Trump took office as president 28 months ago. - An ambassador has greater weight as well as better access to the president's ear, states the Foreign Ministry's Rasmus Eljanskog.
Historically, the United States has not had an ambassador to Sweden for several years. This has not happened throughout the 20th and 2000s, according to the ambassador list that SVT News reviewed.
- A regular ambassador, with Congress in the back has greater weight as well as better access to the president's ear than an acting one. They thus tend to be able to represent their country with greater degrees of freedom, states the Foreign Ministry's press communicator Rasmus Eljanskog.
Three temporary managers
It is 28 months since the US ambassador was brought home from Sweden. The embassy has recently received its third temporary manager - chargé d'affaires.
- We have no views on the process of appointing an American ambassador to Sweden. On the other hand, we look forward to welcoming the next ambassador when he is confirmed by the congress, Rasmus Eljanskog announces.
Ever since Donald Trump was installed as president on January 20, 2017, the ambassador post in Sweden is empty. Photo: AP / Patrick Semansk
In October 2018, Trump nominated billionaire and Paypal founder Ken Howery as the new ambassador. He is on Forbes list of the world's most wealthy.
The Foreign Ministry states that it is uncertain when Congress will make the final vote on Ken Howery.
- The collaboration with the chargé has worked excellently, and the absence of an ambassador has not had any practical consequences for the contact between the embassy and the Government Offices, says Rasmus Eljanskog.Transatlantic link
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (S) recently visited US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, where she discussed, among other things, the security situation in Sweden's immediate area. As recently as January 2019, the "transatlantic link" was again emphasized in the government declaration by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (S).
The last time the ambassador post was empty was between Ambassadors Mark Francis Brzezinski and Azita Raji. That period lasted for just over eight months under President Barack Obama.