Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME), a Beirut-based academic institute funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education, and a group of Finnish university students paid a visit to UCLG-MEWA on October 26, 2021, as part of a series of study visits that they were organizing for Finnish university students on Turkey’s foreign policy and international relations. Apart from the university students, the visitors also included Maria Serenius, former Finnish Ambassador to Ankara in Turkey; Simon Jakob Benjamin Elo, former Member of the Finnish Parliament; and Dr. Anu Leinonen, Executive of the Foundation for the Finnish Institute in the Middle East.
At the beginning of the meeting, Bükre Türksoy, Coordinator of Relations with International Organizations, made a presentation about the history of UCLG and UCLG-MEWA. The presentation also included information on UCLG-MEWA’s organizational structure, thematic activities of its six committees and its publications. The visitors had the opportunity to learn more about international relations between local governments and activities of cities in this regard. After the presentation, Salim Korkmaz, UCLG-MEWA General Coordinator, answered the questions raised by the visitors about local governance structures and roles of local governments in the Middle East and West Asia region.
The meeting ended with the expression of wishes on future cooperation between UCLG-MEWA and Finnish Institute in the Middle East to hold informatory sessions on local governance and international relations.