Sweden names Latvian as new foreign minister

Laila Freivalds, whose family fled Latvia during World War II, has been named Sweden’s new foreign minister, replacing the late Anna Lindh.

Prime Minister Goran Persson announced Freivalds’ appointment on Oct. 3, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. She will take office Oct. 10.

Freivalds, a lawyer, has twice served as Sweden’s minister of justice, first from 1988-1990 and then from 1998-2000, before she resigned in a storm of media attention over what was viewed as a questionable real estate deal.

Freivalds, 61, was born in Rīga in 1942. She is a member of Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party.

Lindh died Sept. 11 after being stabbed by a man in a Stockholm department store. The murder remains under investigation.

Sweden’s Acting Foreign Minister Jan O. Karlsson will leave the government when Freivalds begins her duties, the foreign ministry said.

Linda Freivalds

Linda Freivalds is Sweden’s new foreign minister. (Photo by Pawel Flato, courtesy of Government of Sweden)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *