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Finnish FM confirms support to PA

April 29, 2011 2:03 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2011 4:51 P.M.)
HELSINKI, Finland (Ma'an) -- Finland's foreign affairs minister confirmed his country's support for the Palestinian Authority's political and economic program, in a meeting with caretaker PA Planning Minister Ali Al-Jarbawi on Friday.

Foreign affairs chief Alexander Stubb said Finland admires the PA's program for government, and its achievements in the face of continued Israeli occupation, a statement from Al-Jarbawi's office said Friday.

Stubb also said he understands the Palestinian people's aspiration to live in dignity and freedom in an independent, sovereign state, the statement continued.

The Finnish minister lauded the PA's effective and successful diplomatic efforts around the world, Al-Jarbawi's office said, and highlighted Finland's part in supporting the government and mobilizing international effort to recognize a Palestinian state in September 2011, through its role as a member state in the EU.

Caretaker minister Al-Jarbawi discussed Palestinian-Finnish relations and upgrading bilateral cooperation between the countries, the statement added, and briefed Stubb on achievements of the Palestinian National Authority Program to build the institutions of a state.

The meeting, also attended by Riyadh Mansour, Head of Palestine's Mission to the UN, and Nabil Al-Wazir, Palestinian Ambassador to Finland, was held on the sidelines of the Conference of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, taking place in Helsinki Thursday and Friday.

Dr. Jarbawi will present the opening statement at the UN Conference, the statement said.
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