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U.S. president visits Finland amid protest

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Helsinki: Amid rowdy street protests, U.S. President Joe Biden concluded his visit to Finland on Thursday, but failed to address the latest NATO ally’s insecurity over fear of the U.S. domestic political uncertainty.

The visit came on the heel of the just-concluded North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit. After arriving in Helsinki on Wednesday evening, Biden engaged in bilateral talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Thursday afternoon, followed by a meeting with leaders of the five Nordic countries.

After their meeting, Biden and Niinisto held a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace, where Niinisto said that they discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in defense and technology. During the meetings with leaders from other Nordic countries, they also exchanged views on addressing environmental issues.

In his speech, Biden emphasized the friendship between the United States and Finland, as well as with other Nordic countries, but gave a paradoxical answer to a Finnish journalist’s question on the reliability of NATO partnership.

In the joint press conference, a Finnish journalist asked how the United States can ensure a reliable NATO partnership in the coming decades amid the country’s internal political volatility. Biden said he can “absolutely guarantee it” but adding, “No one can guarantee the future, but this is the best bet anyone can make.”

During Biden’s visit, demonstrations and marches were held by peace organizations near the Finnish parliament building and the Presidential Palace. The protesters held signs and chanted slogans, accusing the United States of fueling wars and demanding NATO cease its disruptive actions in Europe.

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