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Lipponen and Tuomioja Disagree on Afghanistan

Former parliamentary speaker Paavo Lipponen supports increasing Finland's peacekeeper presence in Afghanistan.

Lipponen told the daily Turun Sanomat and syndicated regional papers that he agrees with statements made Wednesday by international policy expert Raimo Väyrynen about expanding Finland's responsibilities there.

He said that Finland has good reason to support the international operations in Afghanistan, and that the country is a place "where we cannot give in."

Former FM Disagrees

Former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja told the SDP paper Uutispäivä Demari that Finland should focus more on Lebanon instead of Afghanistan.

He feels that Finland is trying to earn brownie points on the international stage by participating in Afghanistan. Väyrynen said one of the reasons for becoming more active in the country is that it would improve relations with the US.

Tuomioja says that Finland should instead look at what it has to contribute to each situation.

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