Estonian MEPs Yana Toom and Urmas Paet as well as Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins are to participate in a debate about Syria's future being organized by Toom's office on Sunday.
The debate, which is to be held at the National Library of Estonia in Tallinn, comes on the heels of Toom and Mamikins' recent trip to Syria, following which the MEPs issued a statement predicting a shift in the EU's positions toward the current Syrian leadership.
It was clear to experts on the Middle East and credible diplomats from the beginning of the Syrian conflict that President Bashar al-Assad could not be unseated in a couple of years due to his strong popular support, Toom said in a press release on Wednesday. Now that everyone realizes that Assad won't be going anywhere, Europeans are willing to cooperate with him.
Toom visited Syria on three separate occasions over the last nine months, while Mamikins visited twice.
Paet, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, has visited Syria on two separate occasions — on a joint trip to Syria and Lebanon with Finnish colleague Alexander Stubb in 2009 as well as to open an Honorary Consulate of Estonia in Damascus in 2010.
Also to participate in Sunday's debate are Russian orientalist and historian Alexey Muraviev and Russian TV channel PBK journalist Alexey Ivanov, who accompanied the MEPs on their visit to Syria earlier this month.
The debate, which is open to the public and scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, will be moderated by Estonian MP and security expert Eerik-Niiles Kross.
Editor: Aili Vahtla