At the presidential session on Friday 9 April, the President of the Republic, Sauli Ninistö appointed a new ambassador to Iraq, granted an authorisation to represent Finland in the OSCE and appointed a non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican.
The president appointed Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Matti Lassila to serve as Head of Mission at Finland’s Embassy in Baghdad, starting on 1 September 2021. Lassila will move to Baghdad from the Unit for General EU Affairs and Coordination, where he is currently Senior Adviser responsible for external energy relations and climate policy.
In 2015–2018, he served as Finland’s ambassador in Beirut and in 2007–2011, as Finland's ambassador in Abu Dhabi. In the Diplomatic Service, he has held posts in Brussels, Prague, Geneva, Tehran, Dublin and Marseilles.
Lassila joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1987. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences.
The president authorised Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Vesa Häkkinen, currently head of the Finnish Embassy in Baghdad, to serve as permanent representative of Finland to the OSCE in Vienna starting also on 1 September.
In addition, the President of the Republic authorised ambassador Kalle Kankaanpää, who has been appointed to serve as Head of Mission at Finland's Embassy in Zagreb starting on 15 April 2021, to serve as non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican.