Foreign Minister Paet: European Union’s Support for Northern African and Middle Eastern Countries Must Be Based on Results
Speaking at the High National Defence Course in Roosta, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet noted that the recent developments in Northern Africa and the Middle East have brought heightened attention to the events going on in the region. “The ‘Arab Spring’ has caused the European Union to focus its foreign policy priorities on this southern area more than before,” he said.
Paet stated that many reforms need to be carried out to resolve the challenges standing before the Middle Eastern region and its societies. “The European Union can help to shape the future of countries going through the transition process by reviewing its Neighbourhood Policy, as a result of which a new approach to our southern neighbourhood addressing the actions and accomplishments of specific countries could be created,” he added.
The foreign minister also spoke about developments in Libya and the European Union’s activities to resolve the conflicts. “In Libya’s case, we must continue to place economic, political, and military pressure on the Gadhafi regime,” said Paet. “The humanitarian situation in Libya is also cause for concern. According to the World Food Organisation, there is only enough food in the eastern part of the country to last for a few weeks,” Paet added. He noted that Estonia has allocated 50 000 euros to help alleviate the situations of Libyan internally displaced persons and is ready to give further support to those in need.