Ilta-Sanomat: Foreign Minister tried to pressure official over ‘Isis children’

Apparently Pekka Haavisto hatched a plan to bring back Finnish children from the al-Hol refugee camp but the ministry's consular chief refused to carry it out.

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Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) in his office at the Government Palace, Helsinki, 27th August 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

The Foreign Ministry has been caught up in a scandal about efforts to bring back Finnish children stuck in Syria.

Ilta-Sanomat newspaper reports that Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) tried to pressure an official at the Foreign Ministry to bring back Finnish children from the al-Hol refugee camp under consular conditions.

According to the newspaper, the ministry had developed a plan called Operation Korpi to repatriate children in the camp to Finland without their mothers.

Ilta-Sanomat writes that Haavisto reportedly tried to pressure the ministry’s consular chief Pasi Tuominen to take the decision in his own name – presumably to try and avoid any political ramifications.

Tuominen apparently refused to carry out the order which he felt violated laws and international treaties. He has now been replaced as head of consular affairs.

Nobody in Pekka Haavisto’s office returned calls for comments on this story.