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Friction Over Foreign Policy

The formulation of foreign policy positions continues to cause friction among parties involved in talks on the formation of a new government. The SDP and the Left Alliance are dissatisfied with the actions of National Coalition's Alexander Stubb, who is leading the working group on foreign policy.

Alexander Stubb poistumassa hallitusneuvotteluista keskiviikkoiltana.
Alexander Stubb poistumassa hallitusneuvotteluista keskiviikkoiltana. Image: YLE

Stubb has been unable to get backing from the SDP and the Left Alliance for his proposed statement on NATO, which they see as being too positive on the issue of possible membership in the military alliance.

During talks, Stubb has started to annoy the left-wing parties to the extent that there have been behind-the-scenes whispers of replacing him at the head of the foreign policy working group. It is thought that there are some old grudges in play, as well.

Alexander Stubb declined to comment on the situation on Wednesday. Instead, when asked about dissatisfaction on the left, he urged journalists to be more critical of their sources.

Stubb is not pushing for any actual shift in policy. The National Coalition Party, that Stubb represents, wants the government programme to contain a note made in the last official report on security and defense policy to the effect that there are weighty reasons to consider NATO membership. A more subdued phrasing would better suit the political left.

Since it does not seem that agreement is being reached on the NATO issue within the working group, it may have to be shifted to the steering group of party leaders to resolve.

Sources: YLE

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