Foreign minister: We must stop irregular migration

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The European Union must send a unified message and stop "irregular migration" into the European Union, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said before an emergency EU meeting to discuss Syria, Turkey and migration on Thursday.

Reinsalu (Isamaa) said the foreign ministers need to send a strong and unified message at the Foreign Affairs Council on Friday.

"The renewed migratory pressure on the border between Turkey and the European Union, triggered by the situation in Idlib, Syria, is very serious and we must stop irregular migration. Estonia is offering border protection support to Greece that has come under migratory pressure," Reinsalu said.

He emphasised that Estonia had to control its borders and the solution to migratory pressure was not quotas for redistributing illegal migrants, but border protection and political cooperation towards easing the pressure.

Reinsalu added work is needed for finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria. "I have been in contact with the Turkish foreign minister, listened to his positions and assured him that at the UN Security Council, Estonia stands for providing humanitarian aid to the people of Syria and the immediate restoration of the ceasefire."

"As regards the current migration crisis, the objective in the relations of Turkey and the European Union is to make sure that the 2016 migration agreement between the European Union and Turkey remains in force," Reinsalu said.

Reinsalu is attending an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union in Zagreb on Thursday, and the special meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on Friday, which looks at the issues of Syria and Turkey, and migratory pressure on the European Union.

The March 5 Gymnich is a regular informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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