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Estonia Wants Unified Pressure from International Community to End Violence in Syria

15.11.2011

No. 361-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that developments in Tunisia have reached the point where the European Union can give the country comprehensive support for the rapid initiation of reforms, while at the same time the situation in Syria continues to worsen and requires unified pressure from the international community.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that in the case of Syria, Estonia feels that regional partners—first and foremost the Arab League but also Turkey—play a vital role in resolving the conflict and organising negotiations between the Syrian authorities and opposition. “We want to see a real political process and dialogue that would bring about the reforms being demanded by the public and the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” said the foreign minister. “The leaders of Syria must be called upon to keep their promises and include the opposition in all the political changes in society,” he continued. Paet stated that the European Union is prepared to expand sanctions if the situation does not improve. “By now 3500 people have died in Syria,” he added.

In talking about Tunisia, Foreign Minister Paet said it is positive that the elections were carried out largely in accordance with democratic principles. “We hope that this creates a foundation for rapid progress in Tunisia’s new government, and we feel that Tunisia has the potential to set the example for carrying out reforms in North Africa,” Paet asserted. “This is why we feel it is essential to give Tunisia strong international support,” he confirmed.

Estonia also feels it is positive that the Libyan National Transitional Council has made progress in establishing control in the country. “The European Union must be prepared to help stabilise the country and to point reforms in the right direction, if necessary,” Paet noted. He added that the National Transitional Council must ensure that the weapons that ended up in the hands of civilians during the civil war are collected very soon. It is also essential to continue removing the names of Libyan companies from the sanctions list in order to ensure the restoration of normal economic activity in the country.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee

 

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