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Foreign Minister Paet: OSCE Must Work to Resolve Existing Conflicts

22.11.2010

No. 366-E

During his meeting in Brussels yesterday with his colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed European security matters and the upcoming Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit. Paet stated that Europe’s security architecture must be based on shared values and reciprocal agreements that the signers adhere to, because this is the only way it will be possible to achieve unified and indivisible security.

“The proper place for discussions on Europe’s security architecture is the OSCE, and it is important that the final document from the summit held at the beginning of December will emphasise the need to resolve current conflicts,” Paet noted. “Existing crises must be solved within the framework of the OSCE. We must work on the basis of the OSCE’s principles and in accordance with agreements to fulfil the territorial integrity of Georgia and achieve results in Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria and Kyrgyzstan,” he stressed.

The Baltic and Benelux foreign ministers also talked about the upcoming European Union-Russia summit at the meeting, addressing EU-Russia visa dialogue issues. Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that in addition to determining concrete visa regime guidelines and an action framework, these plans must actually be implemented as well. “This applies to Russia as well as to other third nations that are striving for visa facilitation with the EU,” he stated. “In Russia’s case, we must find a solution to the border queues, since the EU-Russia border should not be an obstacle to the free movement of people and goods,” said Paet, adding that the border queues issue must also be addressed in the European Union-Russia visa dialogue.

At the meeting the foreign ministers talked about further European Union enlargement, expressing support for the continuation of accession negotiations with Turkey and Iceland and for the conclusion of negotiations with Croatia. Relations between the Baltic and Benelux nations were also discussed. Foreign Minister Paet said that the regular meetings of the foreign ministers of the three Baltic nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are important for co-operation among the states. “Active communication helps to intensify co-operation and increase our understanding of one another, and a mutual sharing of positions helps to ensure the unity of the European Union,” said Paet.

The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg meet once a year to exchange positions on regional and international co-operation topics. The first such meeting took place in 2007 in Latvia.

Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will also participate in the meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

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