Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen of the four-party alliance government led by Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) on Saturday defended Finland´s position to abstain from casting vote on the UN General Assembly resolution seeking humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza late Friday night.
Finland was one of the 45 countries refrained from casting vote on the resolution, which was adopted with 120 votes in favour and 14 votes against.
Talking to journalists at the Kokoomus meeting at Otaniemi in Espoo, the Prime Minister said that Finland's decision to abstain in the UN vote was consistent with its policies as Finland condemned the attacks by Hamas and stressed that Israel has the right to defend itself, reported national broadcaster Yle.
"Hamas was not even mentioned in this resolution, and that is why we abstained from voting,” said the Yle report, quoting Orpo, also chairperson of Kokoomus as saying.
The Foreign Minister, also a leader of Kokoomus in a post in social media X in Finnish also said that Finland abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution on Friday in line with other EU countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands.
“Finland would have cast vote in favour of the resolution, if it had condemned the attack by the terrorist organization Hamas,” Valtonen wrote in her post.
In another post in X, she, however, wrote that Finland's position on the matter is clear: the catastrophic situation in Gaza must be urgently addressed, for example through humanitarian corridors.
The resolution drafted by Arab countries overwhelmingly passed where European countries were divided.
Among European countries, France voted for the resolution while Austria, Croatia, Hungary and the Czech Republic voted against and Finland, Germany Sweden, Denmark and Denmark were abstained.
Apart from Israel and the United States, Fiji, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Tonga also voted against the resolution.
The resolution demands that all parties immediately and fully comply with their obligations under international law, particularly in regard to the protection of civilians and civilian objects, and enable and facilitate humanitarian access for essential supplies and services to reach all civilians in need in Gaza, reported Xinhua.
It also calls for the rescinding of the order by Israel for Palestinian civilians and UN staff, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north of the Wadi Gaza and relocate to southern Gaza.
The resolution firmly rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population.
It calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive, demanding their safety, well-being and humane treatment in compliance with international law.