Peter Östman (Christian Democrats) raised more than a few eyebrows during a question-time debate in the Finnish Parliament on Thursday.
Östman enquired about the position of the government on the recent decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and re-locate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“How has the Finnish government prepared for this change in circumstances? Would it be possible to think that Finland could comply with the decision?” he asked.
Östman argued that Jerusalem was declared as the capital of Israel “as early as 3,000 years ago” and that Arabs have “21 states with their capitals, natural resources and oil in the region, whereas Jews only have one state, the land area of which is equal to one per cent of the Arab states”.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) responded to the enquiry by asserting that the government has not re-considered its position on the issue and will continue to insist on a two-state solution to the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine.
His assessment was echoed later by Timo Soini (BR), the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel and Palestine can be solved only as part of a peace [agreement]. A two-state solution is the only realistic option,” he tweeted while attending the 24th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.
The UN Security Council in 1980 issued a resolution stating that it will not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called upon its member states to re-locate their diplomatic missions from the city.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi