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Halonen says Finland could recognise Palestine

President discusses foreign and domestic issues with political journalists

Halonen says Finland could recognise Palestine Tarja Halonen
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President Tarja Halonen says that Finland could recognise the Palestinian state. Speaking at a gathering of political journalists on Thursday, President Halonen also said that she hopes that recognising Palestine might get more extensive support in the European Union. She sees “movement” in the EU on the issue.
      Finland recently upgraded the status of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Finland. The head of the mission is now entitled to use the title of Ambassador, even though full official diplomatic relations have not been established between the countries.
      In September, Palestine applied for United Nations membership, and the processing of its application is getting started.
President Halonen also said that she was not particularly surprised that Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is running for President.
      Halonen appeared to believe that Putin would get elected, and serve his six-year term. She was not so sure about the following term.
      She was was also somewhat uncertain about how long the current President, Dmitri Medvedev, might stay on as Prime Minister.
On domestic issues, President Halonen gave her full support to the government of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (Nat. Coalition Party) in its efforts to achieve a broad-based incomes agreement.
      The President said that she hopes for a “comprehensive solution” that would promote Finnish economic and employment prospects.
      Halonen emphasised that the President will continue to lead Finnish foreign and security policy, even after changes to the constitution take effect in March next year.
      Halonen did not want to comment on the current presidential election campaign, which is in its early stage. However, when she was asked if the 30-year stretch of presidents with a Social Democratic background (Mauno Koivisto, Martti Ahtisaari, and Tarja Halonen herself) would continue, Halonen said “It hasn’t been such a bad time”.

Helsingin Sanomat

  7.10.2011 - TODAY
 Halonen says Finland could recognise Palestine

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