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Estonia Remains Wait-and-See on 'Palestinian Question'

Source: Photo: Reuters/Scanpix

Government officials say that Estonia will not articulate a final position on the question of Palestinian independence until a final United Nations resolution is reached.

During a meeting today, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee discussed issues surrounding Palestine, as well as Libya.

Later this month, the UN General Assembly will hold a symbolic vote over support for an independent Palestinian state. However, a combination of explosive issues - such as longstanding Israeli concerns over territorial contiguousness and Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state - have made the so-called Palestinian question controversial.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has expressed his government's view that any UN resolution on the matter cannot present a barrier to peace in the Middle East.

The final wording of the UN resolution remains elusive. Estonian officials will not adopt a position until that draft resolution is finalized.

Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the parliamentary committee, echoed Paet's hope that the resolution will be based on a two-party agreement. "It's important to avoid an escalation of the regional situation," said Mihkelson.

As for Libya, Estonian officials emphasized the importance of supporting UN activities in Libya to ensure peace post-Gaddafi.

Paet said Estonia is prepared to work with EU civilian projects to ensure that refugees return home, and also to contribute to Libyan reconstruction.


Andres Kahar

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