This discussion with Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to the United States, Christiaan Mark Johan Kröner, Dutch Ambassador to the United States, took place at the Institute for Human Sciences on October 30, 2007. It was moderated by Alan Berger, Senior Editorial Writer at the Boston Globe. It was the third in a series of debates with European Ambassadors organized by the Institute with the support of the European Commission Delegation in Washington DC.
Friis Arne Petersen has been Danish Ambassador to the United States since October, 2005. He began his diplomatic career in 1985 as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Foreign Minister. In 1990 he became Chief of Staff, and in 1994 he was appointed Assistant Secretary for Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and OSCE. In 1995 he was promoted to Under Secretary, Ambassador, responsible for European affairs and economic assistance to Russia and Central and Eastern Europe with a special responsibility for Denmark’s policies on EU and NATO enlargement. In July 1997, he became Head of the Foreign Ministry, assuming the position of Permanent Secretary of State.
Ambassador Petersen has paid a particular interest to the North Atlantic parts of the Danish Kingdom: Greenland and Faroe Islands. He conducted the negotiations with the United States concerning Denmark’s contribution to the US Missile Defense System – paving the way for the Igaliku agreement (August 2004) between Denmark, Greenland, and the United States on the use of the Thule Radar in Greenland.
Christiaan Mark Johan Kröner was appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States in August, 2006. Ambassador Kröner previously served as the Dutch ambassador to France (2001-06), Italy (1997-2001) and Israel (1993-97). He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1973 and has held several positions throughout his diplomatic career. He was appointed ambassador-at-large and deputy director-general of public affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague; consul-general in Munich; and deputy head of the Directorate Atlantic Cooperation and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also served postings in Vienna—for the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) talks—Accra, New Delhi and Belgrade.
Ambassador Kröner holds a degree in international law from the University of Leiden and studied conducting at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.