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Jaak Jõerüüt: Political diplomatic appointments would be catastrophic

Former ambassador Jaak Jõerüüt.
Former ambassador Jaak Jõerüüt. Source: Ülo Josing/ERR

Former ambassador Jaak Jõerüüt is of the opinion that career diplomacy is completely normal, and that if diplomatic appointments became political, it would lead to catastrophe.

"There are essentially only two types of foreign policy systems in foreign ministries and foreign services — career diplomats, and political diplomats," Jõerüüt said on ETV's morning programme Terevisioon.

According to Jõerüüt, who has previously served as Estonian Ambassador to the UN, Italy, Malta Cyprus, Finland, Latvia and Sweden, political diplomatic appointments are generally exclusive to dictatorships or very large countries such as the US.

"Let's not compare a massive [country] and a small one — the resources are different," he said. "It starts with that. Slogans have always been thrown around, but we're still talking about resources."

Jõerüüt stressed that career diplomacy is completely normal.

"If the appointment of diplomats were to become political in Estonian, especially the system of appointing ambassadors, that would lead to catastrophe," he explained. "With every change of the government would come a change of ambassadors. What would that cost? What would that cost in terms of our reputation as a state, and what would that cost the state purely financially?"

According to Jõerüüt, if diplomats were to be appointed politically, that would immediately raise concerns about where to find enough professionals in their field for each change of government, and it would also lead to parties wanting to keep positions for their own.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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