Mr. President, Mrs Mwinyi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am sincerely happy to have this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of Finland, to wish you Mr. President and Mrs Mwinyi and the members of your distinguished party welcome to Finland.
This is your first visit to the Nordic countries since you took up your high office as President of the United Republic of Tanzania. It is a pleasure for us in Finland to welcome you in our country at the beginning of your Nordic tour.
Your visit is a landmark at the traditionally good and cordial relations between our two countries.
Longstanding co-operation has brought us together, it has given our peoples opportunities for a manyfold exchange of views, ideas and experiences.
Your visit to Finland takes place at a time of profound and dramatic changes. Global challenges require that many fundamental truths must be looked at again.
Our discussions today were a most welcome opportunity to review several areas of world and regional politics as well as development concerns.
On the 21st of March the world witnessed the independence of Namibia. It was a great and historic moment for the international community/ for Africa and for your country. Throughout the independence process Tanzania had given home and shelter to Namibian refugees.
Finland for her part, shall now continue, on the basis of traditionally extensive relations to Namibia, to develop her co-operation with the government of independent Namibia.
Namibia's example has shown us the strength of patience and the value of commitment to peaceful solutions through negotiations.
We also believe that the South African government has opted for changes.
We have expressed our hope to the South African authorities about the necessity for further concrete steps towards dismantling the apartheid system and for continuous dialogue without recourse to violence.
The Nordic countries have together co-ordinated their policies against South Africa. In keeping up with the common Nordic position Finland will continue to apply her policy of sanctions.
We are, however, prepared to listen very carefully to any new signals from Pretoria. It is our duty to encourage Pretoria to transmit such new signals for real changes and to ensure that these signals also can be received. This would enable the international community to review its present relations to South Africa.
The Tenth Anniversary of SADCC-co-operation was commemorated in Lusaka on the 1st of April.
The Nordic SADCC-initiative was launched four years ago on the basis of the Harare 1986 Joint Declaration on expanded economic and cultural co-operation between our two regions.
We are now taking stock together of this rewarding experience. Preparations are under way for a new action programme.
Your visit to the Nordic countries gives us ample opportunities to discuss the future, the dimensions and the dynamics of this co-operation.
I believe, Mr. President, that your recent statement in Lusaka gave the Nordic countries encouragement for future co-operation with the African continent when you said that "regional co-operation like SADCC os a milestone towards African economic community".
Finland has been a development partner to Tanzania for many years. Your country is a main recipient of rinnish official development assistance. In addition, Tanzania benefits from the regional funds directed mainly to SADCC-co-operation.
Besides that about fifty Finnish non-governmental organizations are co-operating with their Tanzanian counterparts.
Our development co-operation has now reached a point where we should continue our dialogue over such important questions as the quality of this co-operation, its focuses and its effects.
An agreement on cultural co-operation between Finland and Tanzania was signed in December 1988. Close links are being formed between institutions, universities and individuals in the cultural field in both our countries.
The contacts between individuals, institutions and enterprises through development co-operation have widened and enriched the scope of our knowledge of our respective country's life, people, culture and traditions and thus brought us still closer together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I now propose a toast to the health of their Excellencies President and Mrs. Wwinyi and to the well-being of the people of Tanzania as well as to the continued good relations between Finland and Tanzania!