Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend video conference of EU foreign ministers on Middle East and North Africa

EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an informal video conference on Friday 15 May. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland at the meeting which will focus on the wider Middle East and North Africa and on the Middle East peace process.

Foreign affairs ministers will exchange views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Middle East and North Africa. Finland considers strong EU solidarity and cooperation with the region’s countries to be the key to strengthening political and socio-economic stability. Attention should be drawn to how restrictions and increased control are affecting the human rights situation and the development of democracy. The impact of restrictions on health, the economy, security and social protection will weaken the position and rights of women and girls in particular.

Foreign affairs ministers will also continue to discuss the Middle East peace process. In Finland's view, the EU must defend the rule of law and the rule-based international order in all its policies, including the Middle East peace process. Central to this approach is cooperation with the region's countries.

Inquiries: Matti Nissinen, European Correspondent, tel. +358 295 351 780

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