Sweden Appoints New Foreign Minister, Replace Slain Anna Lindh

Sweden's prime minister on Friday appointed a new foreign minister to replace Anna Lindh (search), who was stabbed to death last month while shopping with a friend in a Stockholm (searchdepartment store.

Goeran Persson (searchsaid Laila Freivalds, a lawyer who previously had been justice minister for nine years, would be Sweden's new foreign minister.

Persson also said Deputy Prime Minister Margareta Winberg was leaving the government and would not be immediately replaced.

Winberg was one of five ministers who had opposed the government's pro-euro stance. In a Sept. 14 referendum, Swedes rejected replacing the krona with the common currency of the European Union.

Aid and Migration Minister Jan O. Karlsson, who had been appointed acting foreign minister after Lindh was fatally stabbed Sept. 10, also was leaving the government and would not immediately be replaced, Persson said.

Karlsson, who will lead a migration commission at the United Nations, will be replaced by two new junior ministers, Barbro Holmberg as migration minister and Carin Jaemtin as aid minister.

Winberg, the departing deputy prime minister, was to become Sweden's ambassador in Brazil. She will stay on in her current position until Oct. 31.

Freivalds, who was born in Riga, capital of the Baltic state of Latvia, was justice minister from 1988-1991, then again from 1995-2000. Since then, she has worked with a Swedish music dance and theater organization.

"Laila is an experienced politician," Persson said. "Her experience of the EU cooperation ... is another argument why she will be an extraordinarily good foreign minister."

Lindh, one of Sweden's most popular politicians and a leading advocate of the euro, was stabbed several times Sept. 10 while shopping with a friend. Police have arrested 24-year-old man in the case. The suspect, Mijailo Mijailovic, maintains he is innocent, his lawyer has said.