Finland fully supports the hostage negotiations conducted by the Phillipine government

Finland is confident that the negotiations conducted by the Philippine Government will result in a peaceful solution to the hostage crisis and a speedy release of all abductees. The negotiation platform seems well established at present which provides renewed hope of a settlement. The European Union is fully committed in contributing towards the release of the hostages. EU´s High Representative, Mr Javier Solana, is in regular contact with the leaders of the Philippines.

Mr Solana reports daily to the Finnish Government. Our own representatives seek to maintain contact with the abductees and oversee aid deliveries. Finland, France and Germany cooperate closely in the region. Finland´s special representative, Mr Holger Rotkirch, will depart for Helsinki today in order to report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Erkki Tuomioja. Mr Rotkirch will be relieved by Mr Pekka Hyvönen, counsellor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.