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New EU Special Representative for Central Asia appointed

Finnish diplomat Terhi Hakala has been appointed a new European Union (EU) Special Representative for Central Asia. Her candidacy was approved at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers.

Terhi Hakala will take office on July 1, her mandate will last until February 28, 2023. The previous position of the new EU Special Representative was an Ambassador for Hybrid Threats in the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland.

«The EU is a welcome and equal partner in Central Asia, helping to solve the problems of the region. The EU has many tools that can be used to help the region recover from the global coronavirus pandemic. The mandate of the Special Representative for Central Asia underlines the need to strengthen regional cooperation and stability in cooperation with the countries of the region and other international players. In the coming years, this will be even more important than before,» the Ambassador Hakala said.

During her 33-year career, Terhi Hakala has held senior positions in missions of Finland abroad and in OSCE structures. She was the Ambassador of Finland to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (2004-2007), to India (2009-2012), the head of the OSCE mission in Georgia (2007-2009) and the mission of Finland to the UN structures in Geneva (2016-2020), repeatedly headed the departments of Foreign Ministry of Finland for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Ambassador Terhi Hakala speaks fluent Russian, English and Swedish in addition to Finnish. She will replace Peter Burian, whose mandate will end on June 30.