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The President and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed Defence Forces' participation in international exercises and training, Arctic summit, and Syria

Government Communications Department 12.10.2018 12.21 | Published in English on 12.10.2018 at 13.49
Press release 474/2018
The President and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed Defence Forces' participation in international exercises and training, Arctic summit, and Syria

On Friday 12 December, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the Defence Forces’ participation in international training and exercises in 2019. Participation in international training and exercises is essential in maintaining, developing and demonstrating Finland's defence capability. It has become increasingly important in recent years for the development of the skills and competences required by the new tasks of the Defence Forces.

Finland will participate in the exercises from its own premises. Both the significance of the exercises for the development of Finland’s defence capabilities and aspects related to foreign and security policy perspectives will be taken into account. The Ministry of Defence will make a decision on the endorsement of a plan for exercises later in October and then communicate the matter publicly.

Finland's Arctic Chairmanship was also discussed at the meeting. Finland intends to organise a summit of the Arctic states during its Chairmanship. The summit would strengthen commitment to peace, stability and constructive cooperation.  Finland proposes that the summit should focus on the reduction of black carbon emissions and maritime safety in the Arctic region. Discussions on the organisation of an Arctic summit will be continued between the Arctic states.

The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed the current situation in Syria. Finland is concerned about the situation in Idlib. It is important that a demilitarised buffer zone be created to protect civilians and to prevent the escalation of humanitarian distress. Negotiations led by the UN must be continued to reach a political solution to the Syria crisis.   

Inquiries: Jukka Salovaara, Director-General, tel. +358 295 350 636, Aleksi Härkönen,  Ambassador for Arctic Affairs (Arctic Summit), tel. +358 295 350 471, Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, Director General, (Middle East), tel. +358 295 350 636, Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Janne Kuusela, Director General (European Intervention Initiative), tel. +358 295 140 300, Ministry of Defence