Press Releases, 3/29/2011
Diplomatic relations established between Finland and Kiribati
Press release 110/2011
Diplomatic relations were established between Finland and the Republic of Kiribati on 25 March. The joint communiqué establishing the diplomatic relations was signed by President of Kiribati Anote Tong, and, on Finland’s behalf, by Ambassador Pasi Patokallio, Special Representative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The dignified ceremony was held in South Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati.
Until this date, Kiribati was the only UN Member State with which Finland did not have diplomatic relations. On Finland’s behalf, the decision to establish diplomatic relations was made by President of the Republic Tarja Halonen.
Kiribati is located in the central Pacific Ocean, at a distance of approximately 2,000 kilometres from the Fiji Islands.
The population of Kiribati is about 100,000 inhabitants. The island nation also includes the island of Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Phoenix Islands. Kiribati was formerly called the Gilbert Islands. The nation became independent in 1979.
Additional information: Heidi Marttila, First Secretary, Unit for Asia and Oceania, tel. +358 9 1605 5163