President Alexander Stubb spoke to reporters in Helsinki on Monday, 15 April 2024. The news conference was organised after he had sat down with the ministerial committee on foreign and security to discuss the situation in the Middle East, following Iran’s strike on Israel on Saturday. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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PRESIDENT Alexander Stubb on Monday estimated that Iran’s attack on Israel last weekend will have an impact on arms trade between Finland and Israel.

“It’ll have an impact, in one form or another, in the future,” he commented at a news conference organised after an extraordinary meeting of the president and the ministerial committee on foreign and security policy on Monday.

Israel in November signed an agreement to deliver an air defence system called David’s Sling to Finland.

The extraordinary meeting was called to discuss the drone and missile strike launched against Israel by Iran on Saturday, 13 April. Stubb said Finland was tipped off about the strike in advance, describing the sharing of such intelligence as common practice between allies.

“Allies have a tendency to issue warnings about different situations,” he stated.

Israel is presently debating how to respond to the attack. Although efforts to de-escalate the situation have been launched by regional stakeholders, China, the EU and the US, Stubb estimated that the situation poses a genuine risk of escalation. People in Finland, he added, have no need to worry.

“We in Finland have no need to worry. We Finns will do our utmost to make sure that conflicts like this in other parts of the world are resolved,” the president said.

Iran fired hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel on Sunday, opening a new dangerous chapter in decades-long enmity between the two countries. Most of the drones and missiles were successfully intercepted by Israel, some with the help of allies such as the US. Iran carried out the strike in retaliation of an Israeli air strike on the compound of the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, on 1 April.

Finland has condemned the retaliatory strike strongly and emphasised the critical importance of de-escalation amid the tensions in the Middle East, according to a statement from the President of the Republic.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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