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Estonia hopes that the Syrian peace conference will be a step closer to the end of civil war

12.02.2014

At today's meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that at the moment, the Syrian peace conference is the only event that can bring the conflict closer to a political solution. "Only direct negotiations and the sincere attempts by all parties involved will provide a chance for finding a political solution and moving towards forming an interim government," he added.

Foreign Minister Paet estimates that efforts to help alleviate the suffering of a million Syrians must be continued in what is the largest humanitarian crisis today, having claimed over 136 000 lives. "The first agreements to help improve the humanitarian crisis must be applied in their entirety," he noted. "In order to ensure this happens, combat by both parties must stop," Paet specified. According to the foreign minister, the declaration of a three-day long ceasefire in Homs on Friday was a good sign.

On the topic of destroying Syria's chemical weapons, the European Union’s foreign policy leaders were worried about the process dragging on, yet expressed hope that the final deadlines will still be honoured.

The European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council also discussed the impact of the Syrian conflict on the neighbouring countries of Lebanon and Iraq. According to Paet, in order to stabilize the security situation in Lebanon, it is of utmost importance that a new government be formed as quickly as possible. Paet said that the support for countries accepting Syrian refugees must continue in order to stabilize the crisis situation there. "Estonia is supporting the continuing education of Syrian refugee children through the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) with 100 000 Euros and Syrian refugees in Jordan via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with 100 000 Euros as well," Paet stated. Up until this point, Estonia has supported the alleviation of the Syrian refugees' humanitarian situation with close to one million Euros. In December of last year, Estonia supported the efforts of the World Health Organisation to stop the spread of polio in Syria and the surrounding region with 100 000 Euros.

Additional information:
Marika Post
Press Spokesperson
Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
+32 474 981 657

PRESS DEPARTMENT
637 7618
5695 2252
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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