Baltics throw support behind Palestine

  • 2010-06-18
  • Oskars Magone

The conflict in the Middle East has led to sharp divisions in the region as both sides struggle to come to an agreement.

RIGA - Leaders from the three Baltic States have reaffirmed their support of the creation of a seperate Palestinian state following a visit to the region by Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Riyad Al-Malki.

"Peace in the area can be achieved only by creating a Palestinian state, but also by accounting for the security needs of Israel," President Toomas Hendrik Ilves told reporters after meeting with al-Malki.

His sentiments were echoed by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

"Two independent states — an independent Palestinian state next to Israel — are the only way to end the Middle East crisis," Paet said.

Before travelling to Estonia al-Malki visited Lithuania, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding the with Lithuanian government. The memorandum pledges cooperation on international policy issues, in addition to strengthening cultural and private sector relations.

“We do our best to contribute to the reconstruction of Palestine and to strengthen its administrative capacities,” said Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis.

On Friday, June 18 al-Malki finished his tour of the region with a visit to Latvia, where is is set to sign a similar agreement to the one with Lithuania.

A press release from the Latvian government said that the country "has expressed support for the Middle East Peace Process and the two-state solution, as well as for the state building plan prepared in the second half of 2009 by Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority."