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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: The International Community’s Indifference Is the Worst Aspect of the Syrian Chemical Weapon Attacks

09.09.2013

 

In today’s meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union member states with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vilnius, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that an external military intervention is the very last option in Syria but it is necessary to avoid further chemical weapon attacks.

“The use of a chemical weapon is a completely unacceptable crime against humanity and everything should be done to prevent it from happening again,” said Paet.

US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed at the meeting that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapon attack.

According to Paet, the worst development would be if the world looked on indifferently while war crimes such as the chemical weapon attacks were committed and did nothing to change the situation. “This brings about the repetition of such crimes,” he added.

In the Estonian foreign minister’s words, the perpetrators of the crime must be punished according to international law. “The International Criminal Court must pass judgment on them,” noted Paet. “The use of a chemical weapon is a serious violation of international law.”

Paet pointed to the UN Security Council’s inability to reach consensus regarding Syria as a sad reality. “Only a political agreement can bring an enduring, peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict. At the same time, this does not mean that war crimes should be tolerated,” he stated. “Even though in two and a half years these political and diplomatic efforts haven’t led anywhere, they must be continued,” added Paet.

By now, two million people have fled Syria and the number of casualties and refugees is increasing every day. Paet confirmed that Estonia will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees. “We have allocated 250,000 more Euros for humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees,” he said. “So far, we have supported those suffering from the Syrian crisis with 830,000 Euros during last two years.”

 

 

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