Minister for Foreign Affairs Finland Timo Soini visited Kosovo on 10 and 11 of October.
During his visit in Kosovo Minister Soini met President Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Behgjet Pacolli and Minister of European Integration Dhurata Hoxha. Minister Soini also met with Head the European Union Office in Kosovo, EU Special Representative Nataliya Apostolova and Head of EULEX Alexandra Papadopoulou as well as KFOR Commander, Major General Giovanni Fungo.
The discussions during the visit dealt with the bilateral relations between Finland and Kosovo, which are excellent. Also Kosovo's European perspective, dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and regional cooperation were discussed.
Minister Timo Soini gave the opening address at kickoff event of the Finland-led EU Twinning project for strengthening correctional and probation services of Kosovo. "This project will be a continuation of the long-term support provided by Finnish experts here in Kosovo," said Minister Soini. "It is most relevant taking into account Finland's priority to support the rule of law and the comprehensive reform process in the justice sector in Kosovo."
Minister Soini also spoke of Finland celebrating one hundred years of independence this year. "The centenary emphasizes Finland’s strong points, such as equality, democracy, rule of law, transparency, innovations and education. Finland has successfully developed a well-functioning public administration which is efficient and effective. Trust in civil servants and public administration is very high among the population," he said.
In Pristina Minister Soini also met the Finnish contingencies of KFOR and EULEX.
Ambassador Anne Huhtamäki and the staff of the Embassy of Finland were happy to welcome Minister Timo Soini and his delegation to the Embassy of Finland in Pristina.