Press Release 76/2013
2 April 2013
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala are visiting the region of the Horn of Africa. Pekka Haavisto, the Foreign Minister's Special Representative, is also a participant on the trip. The difficult political and security situation in the strategically important Horn of Africa and the need for assistance require an active approach from the international community.
The purpose of the visit by the ministers is to get first-hand information to support Finland's input and development cooperation to the region. In accordance with the Government Programme and the Development Policy Programme, Finland should pay attention to supporting fragile states.
The ministers visited the South Sudanese capital of Juba on 2 April and met with Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial and Water Resources Minister Paul Mayom Akec. This is the first ministerial-level visit from Finland to South Sudan. The topics discussed were the country’s situation and development as well as bilateral cooperation, especially in the water sector.
From South Sudan the ministers continue to Djibouti, where on 2–3 April they have meetings with representatives of the Government of Djibouti and Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The topics of discussion are regional cooperation and its promotion, as well as the cooperation projects of IGAD and Finland. The trip to the Horn of Africa ends in Djibouti on 3 April.
Additional information: Director of Communications Keijo Norvanto, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 351, Susanna Parkkonen, Press Attaché to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 50 377 5601, and Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to the Minister for International Development, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869