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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Direct Negotiations Between Palestine and Israel Must Be Restored

11.06.2012

At a seminar on Palestine and the Middle East peace process in Tallinn yesterday, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that although no progress has been made recently in the Middle East peace process, it remains one of the most complicated matters of international relations that needs to be resolved. “The conflict keeps the region in a constant state of stress,” Paet noted. “It is also an ongoing cause for concern for the international community. Hardly a single meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Brussels goes by that we don’t mention this topic.”

Paet stated that Estonia supports finding a balanced solution to the conflict and feels it is important to restore negotiations. “A two-state solution would be in the interest of both countries and would resolve many problems in the region,” said the foreign minister. “Political developments in the Middle East are becoming more and more alarming and therefore both sides should avoid any actions that would make the situation worse,” he added.

Paet said that the threats to Israel’s security must end but Israel must also end its settlement activity, which clearly hinders negotiations. “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and Palestine has the right to its own country and a decent life,” said the foreign minister.

The Estonian foreign minister said that it is essential that the Palestinians be prepared for a social reconciliation. “This means an agreement between all groups of society and the readiness to hold negotiations with Israel,” said Paet.

Paet stated that like all European Union countries, Estonia has aided Palestine in building up its country. From 2008-2012 Estonia has supported 9 projects with a total of 700 000 euros. The primary sectors for aid have been e-solutions, increasing the capabilities of the public sector, and improving the humanitarian situation. Currently Estonia has two ongoing development co-operation projects in Palestine.


Photos: http://tinyurl.com/c2p5xx2

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