Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Foreign Minister Soini to Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

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The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 19 March. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini.

The topics on the agenda will be Ukraine, Syria and Iran. The poisoning of Sergei and Julia Skripal in Great Britain will be a central topic of discussion outside the scheduled agenda items. Finland has condemned the use of toxic nerve agents as a weapon in all situations and by anyone and expressed its support to the United Kingdom.

In their discussions concerning Ukraine, foreign ministers will exchange views on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and look at developments in the country's reform process. Ukraine's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin will attend an informal breakfast meeting, organised in connection with the FAC. Finland encourages Ukraine to continue the implementation of its reforms and supports efforts to resolve the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The meeting coincides with the fourth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, which is why the EU Member States will publish a joint statement on the matter.

Foreign ministers will also discuss the latest developments in Syria in the run-up to the Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the region, scheduled for late April. The humanitarian situation in the country is terrifying.  Finland stresses the importance of a full implementation of the UN Security Council's resolution 2401 on ceasefire and is committed to supporting the efforts of the UN and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to resolve the conflict.

In the discussion concerning Iran, foreign ministers will debate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in particular. As one of the parties to the JCPOA, the EU is committed to continuing its effective implementation.

At an informal lunch meeting with South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, foreign ministers will discuss the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and the country's contacts with North Korea. Finland supports South Korea's efforts to launch a high-level dialogue with North Korea.

Inquiries: Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser to Minister Soini, tel. +358 295 351 960, and Sari Rautio, European Correspondent, tel. +358 295 351 534.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are of the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi

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