Foreign minister wants US at next EU Middle East peace process meeting

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has been discussing the Middle East peace process with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting in Washington, D.C., and has proposed the United States take part in the next EU high-level meeting on the topic.

Reinsalu also had a separate phone conversation with the EU's High Representative Josep Borrell, according to a ministry press release.

In both conversations, Reinsalu emphasised the need for transatlantic unity and proposed holding discussions on the Middle East peace process as a separate agenda item at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting, and also inviting a high representative from the U.S. administration to attend the proposed talks.

"Estonia considers it crucial to relaunch the Middle East peace process, and therefore welcomes the U.S. initiative. It is essential that, as close allies, the EU and the U.S. work as closely as possible on this complex global issue. This is why I consider it important to address this issue together at the highest political level," Reinsalu said.

Estonia favors a position whereby a lasting solution in the Middle East peace process might be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine which take into account the legitimate aspirations of both sides. The official foreign policy position for Estonia, which took up its non-permanent UN Security Council seat at the beginning of the year, is to encourage the two states to engage in constructive negotiations, with the aim of achieving a just and lasting solution.

The FAC is a configuration of the Council of the European Union that convenes once a month. The next FAC meeting will be on February 17, in Brussels.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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