Saturday. 25.01.2020
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Finland wants to discuss the risks of its peacekeepers in Iraq at the EU Foreign Affairs Council

The Government reiterated today its condemnation of the Iranian attack against US bases in Ain Al Asad and in Erbil, where Finnish troops serve.
Finnish soldiers, in a recent ceremony at the Winter War Memorial. Photo: Finnish Government.
Finnish soldiers, in a recent ceremony at the Winter War Memorial. Photo: Finnish Government.
Finland wants to discuss the risks of its peacekeepers in Iraq at the EU Foreign Affairs Council

The European Union today holds an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels to address the increased tension in the Middle East.

The meeting will focus on the situation in Iraq and its neighbouring region and on ways or possibilities to de-escalate tensions in the area. Finland will be represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto.

This extraordinary meeting was convened after tension in the region increased several degrees in recent days, first for the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and later for Tehran's response, which on Wednesday bombed two US bases in retaliation.

Finland reiterated today its condemnation of the attack against those bases, which also host international peacekeeping troops and "considers it important that such attacks do not reoccur," the Foreign Ministry said in a release.

Finland has a unit of 80 soldiers in northern Iraq since 2015.

The Finnish Government also considers it "essential" that all possible means be used to reduce the tensions and to open dialogue between the parties. "The EU should work in close cooperation with the countries in the region and other countries than can act as intermediaries in this respect," says the Government's release.

The extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council will also discuss the situation in Libya with UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé.

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