Statement by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja on the recall of the Finnish ambassador in Namibia

The government of Namibia has requested the recall of the Finnish ambassador, in accordance with the Vienna Convention. Upon receiving the request the Foreign Ministry sent Mr Eero Salovaara, Under-Secretary of State and Mr Glen Lindholm, Director General, to clarify the background to the request and I have personally discussed the matter with representatives of the Namibian government.

According to Mr Salovaara and Mr Lindholm, Ambassador Kari Karanko has not been accused of any kind of misconduct. However, as an ambassador´s successful activity in the host state relies on the consent of the host state´s government, the Finnish government has acted in accordance with the request and recalled Ambassador Karanko to resume his duties at the Foreign Ministry in Finland on 1 August after his leave.

In the discussions between the Finnish and Namibian governments both sides have noted that a change of ambassador will not have an effect on the traditionally good relations between Finland and Namibia. We have not released information on the matter, out of respect for the wishes of the Government of Namibia.