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Cablegate: Finland: Avian and Pandemic Influenza

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHHE #0420 2620901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 180901Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4543

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000420

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAGR EAID KFLU AORC PREL FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: AVIAN AND PANDEMIC INFLUENZA
MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE DEMARCHE DELIVERED

REF: STATE 92335

1. Econ Assistant delivered reftel points to Dr Merja
Saarinen, Ministry of Social Affairs' Ministerial
Counselor for Health/medical Affairs, primary POC for
Avian Influenza, and chairwoman of a pandemic
preparation working group at the Finnish Ministry of
Social Affairs and Health. Points were also delivered
to Ms Taina Aaltonen, Director, Animal Health and
Welfare, Department of Food and Veterinary Control,
Finnish Food Safety Authority, EVIRA. Ms Saarinen
responded that she will head a three-person delegation
to the sixth International Ministerial Conference on
Avian and Pandemic Influenza in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt,
October 25-26. The other members are: Ms Outi
Kuivasniemi, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social
Affairs and Health, and Ms Gisela Blumenthal,
Counselor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

2. In response to reftel regarding announcement of
additional pledges of assistance, Saarinen expressed
strong support for fighting avian and pandemic
influenza. She noted however that due to Finland's
tight budget situation, new pledges are highly
unlikely.

BARRETT

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