A pro-Palestine demonstration in Helsinki, Finland. (File photo via Yle)
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki lauded last week Finland’s support to the UN-run Agency for Palestinian refugees, calling on the country’s FM to work on enhancing bilateral ties.
During a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, which took place via video conference, Malki called for strengthening and developing bilateral relations between Palestine and Finland in various fields and at all levels, appreciating the support Finland provides to Palestine, most recently to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Malki told his Finnish counterpart that the Palestinian leadership seeks to hold elections as soon as an agreement is reached between all the political factions, starting with legislative elections to be followed by presidential elections.
The Foreign Minister also said the US administration has pressured Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel in an attempt to win the votes of the American electorate, considering that normalization is a flagrant violation of the Arab Peace Initiative, which stipulated for normalization the complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab and Palestinian lands.
He also talked about the Israeli plan to annex occupied Palestinian land, which he said is being done without an official announcement to avoid international reactions.
For his part, Finnish Foreign Minister affirmed his country's firm stance based on respecting the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, respecting international law, and standing against any violation that prejudices international conventions and laws.
He stressed that his country will continue to provide support to Palestinian institutions and increase the support provided to UNRWA.
He also lauded the bilateral relations between Palestine and Finland, stressing his country’s and the European Union's interest in the planned elections in Palestine, and their willingness to provide all the support required for their success.