Possibility for the EU to play a key role in the Middle Eastern conflict
“Finding a comprehensive political solution to the conflict in the Middle East and the reconstruction soon to begin are a test of the European Union’s external policy. The EU has the possibility to play a key role, because the EU is the only international actor that has credibility in the eyes of all parties to the conflict,” said Paula Lehtomäki, Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, who just returned from a visit to the region.
The return home of Lebanese who fled hostilities a challenge to humanitarian aid
The extent and speed of the return of Lebanese have come as a surprise to all actors, and constitute a great challenge for aid organisations as they strive to meet changing demands, says Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paula Lehtomäki after visiting Lebanon.
Evacuation of Finns from Lebanon in full swing
The evacuation from Lebanon of Finns, and of citizens of other EU Member States, has begun through both national measures and EU cooperation. On the basis of information received from the Finnish Embassy in Damascus, Syria, in view of the prevailing circumstances Finns are coping well.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja concerned about the situation in Gaza
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja met with Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister and Vice Prime Minister of Israel on 4 July. The two ministers discussed, in particular, the role of the European Union in finding a solution to the situation in the Middle East and about the current unrest in the region. During the ministers’ joint press conference Tuomioja assured that the EU demands the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli solider Gilad Shalit and an end to Kassam rocket attacks against Israel
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