Niinistö for ensuring protection of civilians in Gaza

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President Sauli Niinistö on Friday expressed profound concern over the situation in Middle East following the massive human distress in Gaza and demanded that the protection all civilians must be ensured.

Speaking at the opening of the 2023–2024 term of the Parliament of Åland in Mariehamn, Niinistö said Finland will definitely secure the autonomous Island Åland with its allies.

“We are now following with great concern what is happening in the Middle East. Human distress in Gaza is enormous,” said the President.

Pointing out the right of Israel to defend itself in accordance with the international law, Niinistö, however, said that the protection of all civilians must be ensured at all times, and international humanitarian law must be followed under any circumstances.

Speaking on the security of Åland, he said that Finland will definitely secure Åland with its allies.

“But overall security is strengthened and ensured through everyday actions. Therefore, I encourage everyone here to discuss what people could do themselves in Åland to enhance security,” Niinistö said.

He said that the demilitarisation and neutralisation of Åland has a clear international legal status, based not only on international agreements but also on customary law.

“A report on the legal status of Åland is soon to be completed at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. However, the issue is not limited only to the principles of international law nor is it limited to borders of Finland. We also need to take into account our Western partners,” he added.

He also pointed out some other projects regarding Åland such as the reform of the Act on the Autonomy of Åland, which still awaits completion despite several attempts and hard efforts.

“I hope that there will be political agreement and mutual will to compromise, so that the new Act on the Autonomy of Åland could be enforced soon,” said the President.

Speaking on the global situation he also focused on Ukraine and expressed concern.

“We have not lost our strengths, but the world around us has become increasingly unstable and unpredictable,” said Niinistö, adding that no peace was in sight for the unlawful war in Ukraine.

“The situation requires perseverance from us as well. We will do our best to secure the stability of Finland, the Baltic Sea region and the whole Northern Europe. We will also continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary,” he added.

he said that the tensions between the great powers and global division lines are no longer “somewhere out there”.

“Their impacts also extend all the way to us and our neighbouring areas,” he said.

  •  Sauli Niinistö
  •  Israel
  •  Gaza
  •  Åland


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