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Estonia Supports Extending Sanctions Against Syria to End Civil War

27.05.2013

No 179-E

Estonia supports continuing the European Union’s current sanctions against Syria and the initiative of the USA and Russia to exert strong pressure on Syria to end the civil war, Foreign Minister Paet said at a meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

Paet stated that Syria has practically been destroyed and the humanitarian situation there is catastrophic. “Estonia supports continuing the European Union’s current sanctions against Syria. Violence from both sides of the conflict must end immediately – a political solution is the only way to end this conflict,” he emphasised. “We consider the agreement by the USA and Russia to place pressure on Syria together to end the bloodshed to be very positive and support the organising of an international conference with the participation of both sides to achieve this goal,” the Estonian foreign minister said.

Paet added that the humanitarian situation in Syria is constantly growing worse and the violations of international human rights committed by the parties to the conflict are alarming; obstacles preventing humanitarian aid organisations from doing their work must also stop. According to UN data, there are about 8 million people in urgent need of humanitarian aid, over 3 million children have been injured and 80 000 have been killed, and the number of internally displaced person has within the past few months grown from 2 million to 4.25 million people.

“It is essential to continue supporting the countries that accept Syrian refugees, especially Lebanon and Jordan, which are having the most difficult time,” said the Estonian foreign minister. “If the aftermath of the conflict spreads to neighbouring countries, it could destabilise the entire region,” he noted.

This year Estonia has allocated 100 000 euros to Jordan through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to support Syrian refugees and 100 000 euros to Lebanon through UNICEF to ensure the continuation of Syrian refugees’ education. In 2012 Estonia donated a total of 220 000 euros to help victims of the crisis in Syria, both in Syria and in the neighbouring countries of Jordan and Turkey.


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

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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