8 Nov 2007

NATO Secretary General visits Finland

The NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer met with Finnish authorities on a one day visit to Helsinki on 8 November to discuss Finland’s steadfast commitment to NATO operations.

Mr. De Hoop Scheffer first met with the Finnish President Tarja Halonen and the Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.

He also met with the Foreign Affairs Minister Ilkka Kanerva, the Defence Minister Jyri Häkämies and the Speaker of the Parliament Seppo Kääriäinen.

Their discussions centred on NATO operations in which Finland plays an important role, in particular Afghanistan and Kosovo, to which the Finnish Government stressed its continuing commitment.

They also discussed the evolution of the NATO Response Force (NRF), and the possibility of an eventual Finnish participation thereto. 

Finally, all discussions stressed the importance of the highest-level political attention to taking forward the practical relationship between NATO and the EU, to the benefit of both organisations.

The Secretary General furthermore attended a seminar on “NATO today and tomorrow”, which was organised by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Finland became a NATO Partner country in 1994.