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Press Releases, 2/5/2014 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

President of the Republic and Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy  discussed Finland's possible participation in stabilisation of Central African Republic

Government Communications Department
Press release 42/2014

On Wednesday 5 February, the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed Finland's possibilities to participate in the EU operation which is currently under preparation to stabilise the crisis in the Central African Republic. The Cabinet Committee outlined that Finland's possibilities to participate are to be examined more closely. The EU will continue to prepare for the operation on the basis of the decision made by the EU Foreign Affairs Council in January. It is hoped that the EU will decide on the launch of the operation before the end of the ongoing month. The planned operation is to support efforts to stabilise the security situation in the Central African Republic and to promote humanitarian measures and the protection of civilians.

The Cabinet Committee also discussed the progress of measures to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons stockpile as the country's internal transports have been delayed.  For that reason, the maritime operation carried out by Denmark and Norway to transport chemicals from Syria will continue longer than expected.  The mission of the Deployable CBRN Laboratory troop deployed by Finland is to be continued until chemical weapons have been transported for elimination from Syria; however, no longer than until 30 June 2014.

The meeting between the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed closer defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden. Closer bilateral cooperation between Finland and Sweden is a natural continuation of the current Nordic cooperation development. A work plan for closer cooperation between the Finnish and Swedish defence administrations will be drawn up in spring 2014. Currently ongoing cooperation projects will be taken into account in the formulation of the planned closer cooperation.  New opportunities for cooperation will be examined in all military services and common capability areas. The cooperation initiative will apply to peacetime operations and it will not include a collective defence obligation.

The Cabinet Committee also discussed the prospects of NATO partnership cooperation which will be on the agenda of the preparations for the NATO Summit 2014 in the autumn and also as the ISAF operation in Afghanistan will be brought to a conclusion at the end of the year.

Inquiries: Timo Kantola, Deputy Director General, tel. +358 295 351 477, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Esa Pulkkinen, Director-General, tel. +358 295 140 300, Ministry of Defence
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Updated 2/5/2014

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