Acting Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson pledged Monday to conduct an active foreign policy in line with the goals set by his predecessor, Olof Palme, who was assassinated last Friday night on a Stockholm street.
"No individual will be able to do exactly what Olof Palme did in the international field," Carlsson said at his first formal meeting with foreign journalists since taking over the government.
But he added, "Olof Palme's work will not disappear with Olof Palme."
Sweden and the Social Democratic Party that Palme headed will continue "to stand up for the right of the small and medium-sized countries to have a say," Carlsson said.
Carlsson made the remarks as police investigating Palme's assassination searched for clues that would reveal the identity of the killer, his motive and whether he has links to an extremist political organization or terrorist group.
The Death Bullets
The search centered on what is thus far the most significant publicly-disclosed clue--the .357 magnum bullets used to kill Palme that were capable of piercing a bulletproof vest. Police said they have identified the manufacturer of the bullets but have declined to disclose the name of the firm.
Police believe the use of such bullets is an indication that the killer may have had professional knowledge of weaponry. But they said this also shows that the assassin was apparently unaware that the slain Swedish leader never wore a bulletproof vest.
Several hours after the assassination became publicly known, a news agency in London received an anonymous telephone call from an individual who claimed that the killing was carried out by the "Holger Meinz Commando Group" of West Germany.
At about the same time, a Swedish diplomat in Bonn also received an anonymous call that claimed the attack was the work of the West German terrorist organization, the Red Army Faction. Neither of the calls offered a motive for the shooting.
Holger Meinz was a member of the Red Army Faction who died of a hunger strike in 1974.
German Terrorist Group
Six West German terrorists calling themselves the Holger Meinz group carried out a 1975 attack on the West German Embassy here in an effort to secure the release of confederates jailed in West Germany. Two diplomats and one of the terrorists were killed in the attack.
Five terrorists were extradited to West Germany for trial. One of them who had been burned by a grenade blast in the attack died a few days after being returned to West Germany.
Another organization under scrutiny is said to be the Kurdish Workers Party, PKK, an organization that is part of the 5,000-strong Kurdish community in Sweden.
The PKK reportedly has been responsible for a series of killings in the last year, and Swedish authorities have arrested some leaders.
However, it was noted that a decade has elapsed since the extradition of the West German terrorists. And the Kurdish group would appear to have little reason to murder the head of a government that has given them political sanctuary.
At his press conference, Carlsson noted that police investigators still have no clue as to whether the assassin was foreign.
"The killer could be a Swede or could have come from some other country," he said. "We have no clear idea at this point."
Carlsson, 51, said he was willing to accept strict personal security, at least until Palme's murder is solved.
But he said Sweden's traditional values of an open democracy will be sustained, despite the assassination, the first of a Swedish political leader in nearly 200 years.
He said close contact with elected leaders is an important part of the country's democratic tradition, and he said it will be protected.
Sweden has traditionally been one of the most open of all Western democracies. Until the early 1980s, the prime minister's private telephone number was listed in the telephone directory.
Carlsson explained that the decision of the Palme family not to have a state funeral reflects Swedish custom.
"Even for prime ministers there is no tradition in Sweden to have state funerals," he said. "For us, that is the natural thing."