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Cablegate: Finnish Response - Bhutto Assassination and Us

VZCZCXRO3228
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0001 0021305
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021305Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3977
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000001

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PINS PREL PTER SHUM PK FI
SUBJECT: FINNISH RESPONSE - BHUTTO ASSASSINATION AND US
POLICY FOR PAKISTAN'S ELECTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 170928

(SBU) PolChief raised subject demarche with Johan Schalin,
Office Director of the Finnish MFA's Unit for Asia. Schalin
said Finland generally shared our views regarding the need
for united international community support to Pakistan as it
seeks to continue the journey toward democracy. However,
Schalin also stressed that elections are only one part of the
democratization process; the GoF does not oppose holding them
as scheduled, provided they do not undermine voter confidence
or, worse, lead to further political instability or violence.
He added that the Bhutto assassination makes it "very
difficult to imagine" that free, fair and non-violent
elections can still be held on January 8.
HYATT

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