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Husein Dzhelil standing in front of the Canadian Parliament buildings, Ottawa, Ontario, May2005.
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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 told YLE.

"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.
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