PM in Sweden: The relationship is extremely important to us

This was the prime minister's first foreign trip since taking office in December. She will visit Estonia on Friday.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin gives a press conference with Swedish PM Stefan Löfven at Harpsund, Sweden, 8th January 2020 / Credit: Päivä Anttikoski, VNK

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), who took office only in December, has used her first foreign trip to Sweden to stress the importance of the relationship between the two countries.

Marin met Swedish PM Stefan Löfven at Harpsund, his official country residence west of Stockholm on Wednesday morning.

On the agenda for the bilateral talks were Baltic Sea regional issues, for example in the area of environmental protection. They were also expected to discuss European security and other current international and EU topics like climate goals, budgets and enlargement.

“As we have stated in our government programme, the relationship between Finland and Sweden is extremely important to us, and we want to continue to develop it in the future” Marin told journalists at a joint press conference with Löfven after their talks.

“Sweden is our closest neighbour and I hope the exchange between our countries is further deepened” the PM adds.

USA-Iran tensions on the table

During the press conference the two prime ministers also addresses the latest events in Iran including a deadly plane crash where ten Swedes were among 176 people killed on Wednesday morning.

The pair also addresses an Iranian missile attack on two bases in Iraq, including a facility in Kurdish-administered Erbil where Finnish and Swedish military personnel are working side-by-side as part of a NATO training mission.

“Our basic position is that we need to look forward. We need to find a dialogue, de-escalation of the situation. What I said was we need to condemn all attacks on peacekeeping troops” Läfven said.

“It’s very important to condemn all attakcs against peacekeeping troops, and it’s very important to try and de-escalate the situation. We need to find a dialogue, we need to find a way for a peaceful process from now one”

“I think Finland and Sweden are also trying to find a way to build dialogue together with the whole EU” she added.

On Friday Prime Minister Marin travels to Tallinn for talks with Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas; and to pay a courtesy call on President Kersti Kaljulaid.

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