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Foreign Secretary visits Helsinki
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Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Finland to set out Britain's views and objectives for a reformed, democratic and globally competitive EU.
Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond, visited Finland on 7 and 8 January for a series of high-level meetings on EU reform. In Helsinki the Foreign Secretary met with Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, Defence Minister Carl Haglund and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja to explain the UK’s position on the future of the EU. The visit was part of the Foreign Secretary’s plan to visit all EU member states to discuss EU reform.
Other discussion topics included questions related to Russia and Ukraine, and the situation in the Middle East, and the landmark Arms Trade Treaty, on which Finland and the UK worked closely together. Foreign Secretary Hammond and his Finnish counterpart, Mr Tuomioja, also condemned the appalling terrorist attack in Paris.
In the joint press conference the Foreign Secretary said:
UK and Finland are like-minded on many of the key issues. We both believe in open markets, free trade and liberal economy. We both understand that projecting those values into the European Union is the way to protect our people, and create jobs and prosperity for the next generation. I hope we will be able to work closely together as EU reform agenda takes shape over the course of the year.