Kaljulaid: Estonia will work towards reducing tensions in Middle East
President Kersti Kaljulaid reiterated support for the United States' actions in Iran but said Estonia would be working to deescalate tensions in the region going forward including within the framework of the UN Security Council and working with allies.
Writing on Facebook after a meeting on Wednesday morning with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (Isamaa), Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), and Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chair Minister Enn Eesmaa (Centre), Kaljulaid said the situation in the Middle East and the next steps Estonia would take had been discussed.
"We agreed that Estonia would continue to work towards reducing tensions," she wrote.
"The conflict that has erupted in recent days is of direct concern to us and Estonia is making its contribution to easing tensions. It is also our responsibility - we are a member of the UN Security Council, a member of the European Union, and our troops are in Iraq. We must work with other countries to mitigate the conflict and prevent a full-scale military confrontation.
"I also strongly condemn Iran's missile attacks on allied military bases in Iraq. Iran has repeatedly acted aggressively over recent decades and has not respected international law. The country's behavior has been a threat to international security and to our allies. This threat is not theoretical, but has repeatedly been realized, which also triggered the strong reaction from the United States. We support our ally.
"As of today, there are seven Estonian Defense Forces officers in Iraq, and these missions are continuing. It is important, however, that if any decisions are taken on these missions, the allies will take them jointly and in a coordinated manner. Similarly, the greatest possible unity between the members of the European Union is important in these matters, and at the meeting we agreed upon Estonia's steps to coordinate this communication."
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Editor: Helen Wright