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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Syria Conflict Must Be Investigated by International Criminal Court


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Today at the meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the International Criminal Court should be asked to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed during the conflict in Syria.

Paet stated that during the conflict in Syria, which has gone on for 16 months, over 16 000 people have been killed, 104 000 people have fled to Syria’s neighbouring countries, and at least 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. More pressure must be placed on Syria at the international level to compel all the parties in the conflict to agree to follow the transition plan in Annan’s peace plan. “Possible crimes against humanity and violations of human rights should be investigated impartially on the international level and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” stated the Estonian foreign minister. “We also support the implementation of further restrictions on the Syrian regime,” he added.

Paet stated that the UN Security Council’s inability to reach a decision regarding the Syrian regime is disappointing. “Efforts to reach a consensus in the UN Security Council must continue,” he added.

When speaking about Libya, Paet said that Estonia considers the good turnout at the first free elections held on 7 July to be a positive development. “Now the European Union must closely follow the positions of the newly elected Libyan politicians as they build up the state, especially when it comes to rule of law principles, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and political freedoms,” he stated. “We must also help them resolve practical problems, first and foremost securing the state borders to prevent the illegal passage of arms, narcotic substances, and persons over the border,” the Estonian foreign minister noted.

In connection with the most recent developments in Egypt since President Morsi assumed office, Paet said that we call on the new political powers in Egypt to start making the reforms necessary for the development of society. “The European Union must be prepared to help with this, and through our relations with Egypt we must keep an eye on the actions of the local authorities in democratising society,” he stated.


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


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