PUSHING REFORMS: Urmas Paet wants to see a wave of democratization sweep across North Africa.
TALLINN - At a meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Oct. 10, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine must be restored, reports LETA. According to Paet, Estonia supports the resuming of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
“This is the only path towards a two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine could peacefully co-exist side by side,” he added. Paet said that the European Union has an important supporting role to play in the restoration of negotiations.
The EU foreign ministers confirmed their support for the work of the Diplomatic Quartet (the EU, UN, USA, and Russia) in bringing progress to the peace process and also acknowledged its efforts to bring the two parties to the negotiating table.
The Quartet on the Middle East issued a statement in the UN on Sept. 23 that establishes a very exact schedule for Israel-Palestine negotiations, on the basis of which the parties must agree on a peace treaty by the end of 2012.
Discussing the situation in the European Union’s nearby neighbors North Africa and the Middle East, Paet said that Estonia considers democratization and the reform process in North African nations to be extremely important. Estonia also condemns the faith-based violence that has taken place in Egypt.
“The European Union must be ready to give Egypt support in organizing elections,” he added. Paet stated that Syrian authorities must stop using violence against protestors. “We would like to see a real political process that will lead to reforms,” he noted.
While addressing the situations in Libya and Tunisia, Paet said that the Libyan Transitional National Council must play the leading role in Libya’s transition process and international aid should be coordinated by the UN.
In order for Tunisia’s reforms to continue, it is essential that the European Union continue to contribute to Tunisia’s Economic, Justice, and Interior ministries and to support reform in Tunisia’s security sector.