Sweden names Jan Eliasson new Foreign Minister

Monday, March 27, 2006 During a press conference at 10:15 a.m. CEST (0815 UTC), Prime Minister Göran Persson of Sweden appointed Jan Eliasson as the new Foreign Minister.

Eliasson will be taking over the ministry post from Laila Freivalds, and will have Carin Jämtin, the current Minister for Development Aid, as his Deputy Foreign Minister. Until the transfer on April 24, 2006, Jämtin will be acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Eliasson is currently chairing the UN General Assembly. He has also held positions as the Swedish Ambassador to the United States, and as Secretary for Foreign Affairs within the Swedish government. Eliasson will fulfill his role of chair of the General Assembly, ending his term on September 11, 2006.

Freivalds was forced to resign last week when her involvement in talks between a Swedish internet hosting site associated with the controversy over the cartoon of Mohammed was questioned.