Vanhanen: China Did Not Warn PM about Uighur Detainees
Former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
Former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said Tuesday that
he was not cautioned by Chinese officials against
accepting Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay for
resettlement in Finland. Supposedly, a U.S. diplomatic
cable published by the New York Times indicates American
diplomats believed this was the case.
According the New York Times, an aide to former Finnish
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said China had warned
Finland last autumn against receiving Uighur detainees
from the Guantanamo Bay camp for resettlement.
Matti Vanhanen, who headed the Finnish government at the
time, said Tuesday that such a demand may have been
presented to the Foreign Ministry or at a lower level.
China did not, he stated, influence Finland's decision
in the matter.
"I heard at the time that the Chinese side has presented
some concerns, but the Chinese never made an approach at
the prime minister level to voice them. It possibly
remained at Foreign Ministry or aide level," Vanhanen
"In any case, it had no impact on the basic decision
itself, which was whether Finland would accept prisoners
or not. The cabinet's ministerial committee on foreign
and security policy decided that Finland would not
accept any of the prisoners," said Vanhanen.