COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AFTER THE CONFERENCE OF THE PRIME MINISTERS AND FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES, AT COPENHAGEN ON SEPTEMBER 18th, 1939.
The Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Finland,
Norway and Sweden and the Minister of Iceland to Denmark discussed at a meeting in Copenhagen on the 18th and 19th September the conditions of their countries in the calamitous war which has broken out. They confirm once again the steadfast will of their countries to carry on a strictly equitable policy of neutrality in their relations with the parties in conflict. They are determined to pursue this policy in close collaboration with each other and to co-operate in its execution with other states inspired by similar intentions. The Northern Countries are convinced that neither of the groups of powers have any desire whatsoever to see any of these countries involved in the hostilities.
Just as the three Scandinavian Countries in the year 1914 by a
joint note to the belligerent powers maintained the rights of neutral
states to trade and to traffic on the high seas, so the Northern
Countries are now determined, in order to safeguard their own economic life, to uphold their right to continue their traditional commercial relations with all states including the belligerent powers. They have reason to trust that they will be able through open negotiations with the opposing parties to arrive at an understanding with both parties to the effect that this commercial intercourse be respected.
In the face of the manifold difficulties and losses which the war in
any circumstances will inflict also upon the Northern peoples in their daily existence and in their economic life, they intend by intimate cooperation to alleviate the difficulties to the greatest possible extent. It has been decided that the special Committees set up in view of the war conditions, shall enter at the earliest date into mutual negotiations on all appropriate issues.
The Ministers taking part in the discussions appeal to their peoples
to face the anxieties and privations of the war time with calmness and composure. They give expression to their conviction that it is in the interest, not only of the Northern peoples, but of all nations that throughout the war there remains a group of states which may facilitate that reconciliation of the belligerent nations which the future must bring.
Source: The development of Finnish-Soviet relations during the autumn 1939 in the light of official documents. Publication of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Doc. nr. 9. Suomen Kirja, Helsinki 1940.
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