Estonian president discusses migration crisis with colleagues at Arraiolos meeting

  • 2017-09-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid who discussed the migration crisis with her colleagues at the Arraiolos meeting in Malta said that it is long-term and it has no short-term or simple solutions.

"We have to be ready to contribute long-term to the projects necessary for solving the crisis," Kaljulaid was quoted by spokespeople as saying at the second work session of the meeting which was dedicated to the security of the Mediterranean region and migration issues.

Kaljulaid thanked Malta for its commitment and contribution to solving migration issues during its recent EU presidency, adding that migration is also among the priorities of Estonia's EU presidency.

"We want to reach an agreement regarding the asylum and migration policy as well as an efficient control over the EU external borders. The most important thing is to offer solutions to the young migrants' countries of origin so that they would have better opportunities for self-actualization at home," she added. Kaljulaid recognized Greece and Italy for their efficient work at reducing migration pressure on the Mediterranean region.

Kaljulaid also had three bilateral meetings -- with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

This year's Arraiolos meeting is attended by the heads of state of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria and Germany at the invitation of Malta's President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

The Arraiolos meeting, named after the Portuguese town where the first meeting took place in 2003, brings together heads of state who pursuant to their countries' Constitutions do not attend European Council meetings. To date 12 meetings have taken place. The first meeting, hosted by Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, was attended by the presidents of Latvia, Poland, Germany, Finland and Hungary. To the 2005 meeting in Helsinki also the presidents of Austria and Italy were invited. In 2011 Slovenia received an invitation, in 2013 Bulgaria and Estonia, and in 2015 Malta was invited.