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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Syria Conflict Confirmed NATO’s Readiness to Protect Its Members


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When talking about the Syrian civil war during a meeting of the NATO foreign ministers in Brussels today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that security on NATO’s borders is not to be taken for granted. The deployment of the Patriot systems to Turkey’s territory demonstrates NATO’s determination to protect its members. “This step very clearly showed NATO’s readiness to protect its allies’ territory,” the foreign minister added.

Paet stated that the humanitarian situation in Syria is very poor. Over 70 000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict and there are 2 million internally displaced persons. Over 1.3 million have fled to neighbouring countries. “Estonia has allocated 200 000 euros in humanitarian aid this year to support those affected by the Syria crisis,” Paet said.

Regarding developments in North Africa and the Middle East, Paet said that Estonia supports promoting political and practical co-operation with the countries in the region through NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. It is also important to continue fighting terrorism and piracy within multilateral co-operation frameworks. The foreign minister said that some opportunities for co-operation in the region would be introducing Estonia’s e-governance, sharing reform experiences, and practical co-operation on energy issues.



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