Foreign Policy Blogs

In Comes the Swede

Though it has yet to be confirmed, it appears Swedish diplomat Staffan di Mistura will replace Kai Eide as the top UN official in Afghanistan. Mistura has recently worked for the UN’s World Food Programme and as an official in Iraq. He served as director of fundraising and external relations for the U.N.’s office in Afghanistan from 1988 to 1991 and seems to have the approval of the Obama administration, as American envoy Richard Holbrooke was quoted “Di Mistura has the unanimous support of the U.S. government.”


Di Mistura will have quite the task ahead of him. His most important duty will be in maintaining a productive relation with both the Karzai government and the US government. Eide ran into various problems in this regard, culminating in claims that he was too friendly with Karzai, undermining views that the presidential election was illegitimate. UN official positions in conflict zones is always a precarious endeavor, let us hope Di Mistura is up to the task.