Bård Ludvig Thorheim of Høyre believes that Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) is misusing the foreign service to solve his party's internal medicine problems. – A guffaw of old Labour, Raad.
Today's business It was reported in December that Jonas Gahr Sture was considering Annekin Hoitfeldt for the vacant ambassadorial position in Washington, D.C., according to the newspaper's sources.
After DN published the information, it was done Aftenposten He received confirmation that Støre is considering it.
The idea of sending Huitfeldt to Washington has easy acceptance among the Conservative Party. Norwegian Parliament representative Bard Ludwig Thorheim (right) has 15 years behind him in the Norwegian diplomatic service – including work as a diplomat on loan at the embassy in Washington, DC.
He warns against giving the position to Hetfeldt.
– The impression left by many people – myself included – is that this is just a trick of the old Labor Party, which distributes positions to its members for loyal service.
– Everyone knows how Stor fired Huitfeldt from his job as Foreign Minister, and now it seems as if he wants to give her the ambassador's job because she quietly walked in the door when she was fired from the government, he says.
He meets VG at Victoria Terrace, where the Foreign Office is based. Thorheim forcefully points his hand towards the VG photographer's camera and announces his message to Huitfeldt:
– Here, but no further!
– Not the best qualified
Thorheim says the Washington position is the most important ambassadorial position in the entire Foreign Service, and that the position requires a very experienced diplomat.
– We need someone who has held other ambassadorial positions before, and who has qualifications from the diplomatic corps. Here you have to compete against other countries' top diplomats for speaking and reception time with Americans. So we can't send anyone other than our best.
– Hoitfeldt served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament. Aren't those good qualifications?
– You are not qualified for such a job as Minister of Foreign Affairs. It's about the qualities you have to have, and that you have a heavy background as a diplomat. There are many better qualified for this position than her.
If one were to first look outside the Foreign Ministry, one would likely ask Jens Stoltenberg, the conservative politician believes.
Disappointed with Støre
Thorheim believes that Jonas Gahr Støre was inspired by ancient Ap culture with internal party appointments.
– I have the impression that Støre is now trying to solve a problem internally with such an appointment. It is a problem when a Prime Minister uses the Foreign Service in this way.
The former diplomat continues:
– Given the controversy in Ap and her departure, as well as the fact that Støre herself is involved in these operations, it seems as if other things apply to the principle of qualification.
Thorheim summarizes his letter to Sture:
– Putting Norwegian interests first, not Aabs' interests. They cast aside the idea of Hoitfeldt as ambassador to Washington, and found the most qualified person.
Not the first time
– According to DN, Ine Eriksen Søreide should also be asked, would such an appointment be equally problematic?
– If she opened the door to political appointment first, I understand that she was asked. But she might see the problem with such an appointment.
Thorheim points to the fact that in 2009 former conservative leader and Foreign Minister Jan Petersen was appointed ambassador to Vienna.
– First, it was a position much less important than Washington's. Secondly, it was the Red-Green government that appointed him, so there is no speculation that it is a purely party appointment.
VG asked the Prime Minister's Office (SMK) for comment. They are referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “to inquire about any appointments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Mila Skoog Odegaard, political advisor to Espen Barth Ede, says the Foreign Ministry will not comment on the matter.
VG was unable to obtain comment from Huitfeldt himself.
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