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Foreign Minister Soini: US departure from UN Human Rights Council 'a setback'

Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini says that the decision of the United States to leave the UN Council on Human Rights is a 'setback'.

Timo Soini
Timo Soini Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland believes the American decision to leave the United Nations Council on Human Rights is a 'setback', as Finland had hoped the US would remain part of the body.

The Trump administration said its withdrawal was in protest at what it called 'anti-Israel' stances.

Foreign Minister Timo Soini said in an interview with Yle that the US had been a good partner in the council for the advancement of freedom of speech and the strengthening of the international community.

"It's a setback that they've made this decision because the cooperation has been good," said Soini. "Of course Finland is committed to the work of the Human Rights Council and based on our experiences we would have hoped that the US would have continued that co-operation."

Soini said that he believed the council would be weaker without the US, but took solace from the fact that the US said it was still committed to advancing human rights in international arenas.

US federal facilities currently hold in excess of 11,000 children who have been separated from their parents, who are suspected of immigration offences.

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