Finland to close embassy in Pakistan



Finland to close embassy in Pakistan Helsinki: Finland plans to close down its embassy in Pakistan during 2012 due to budgetary constraints, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The decision to shut the mission in Islamabad was part of a bigger scheme to trim the Nordic country's network of embassies, with closures also announced in Caracas and Manila.

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary of State Peter Stenlund told the agency the Pakistan closure was also partly due to security concerns in the capital, pointing out that in order to stay in Islamabad the Foreign Ministry would have had to invest in a new chancery.

"One aspect is the security situation... It is not an acute situation but because we have to cut costs in our global embassy network we decided not to invest in a new building," he said.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said it had been informed of the decision.

"They (Finland embassy) have conveyed to us officially that they are doing so because of budgetary constraints and cost-cutting," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.

He said Finland would consider re-opening the embassy as soon as possible, adding that the mission was expected to close sometime this month.

PTI