HELSINKI – Former Finnish President Mauno Koivisto died in Helsinki at the age of 93 on Friday, the Finnish presidential office announced, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
Koivisto died in the Meilahti hospital in Helsinki at 21:14 local time Friday, said the presidential office in a statement. Koivisto had been suffering from Alzheimers.
He was last seen in public on Dec. 6, 2016 when he attended the official church service of the Finnish Independence Day.
Born in 1923, Koivisto was first in office in 1981 serving the remainder of the tenure of Urho Kekkonen, who resigned for health reasons.
Koivisto became elected president in 1982. He was reelected in 1988 and stayed in office until 1994.
During his two terms, Koivisto continued the foreign policy keeping Finland outside great power conflicts of interest.
He underlined good relations with the Soviet Union, and meanwhile widened the relationship with the United States.
During Koivisto’s presidency, Ronald Reagan visited Finland as the first U.S. president in office in 1988.Also during his presidency, Finland began talks for joining the European Union. – BERNAMA