Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser expressed concern at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Valletta on Friday over the state of democracy and human rights in Turkey, emphasizing the necessity of continuing dialogue.
"Turkey is an important partner for Estonia and the EU and therefore we follow the situation there closely," Mikser was quoted by ministry spokespeople as saying. "The narrowly divided referendum result demonstrates that Turkish society is divided. It is important to restore a respectful dialogue and take into account the opinions of different social groups."
In a statement on Monday, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn called for member states to seek new ways of communication with Turkey, indicating hope for the EU to discontinue accession talks with Turkey. Another blow to Turkey's reputation was the decision made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Tuesday to restart the monitoring of Turkey.
In addition to the situation in Turkey and Turkish-EU relations, other topics discussed at the meeting of the EU foreign ministers included globalization and international rules of behavior.
On the subject of globalization, Mikser emphasized the need to jointly develop rules that take the globalization process into account. "The EU must be active and participate in developing the international legal order," Mikser noted. "At the same time, we should not move away from the fundamental values of the EU."
EU foreign and security policy strategy was also discussed with EU candidate countries Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. According to Mikser, the strategy helps to define joint action aimed at solving problems in the immediate neighborhood of the EU and beyond. Talking about the recent events in the Macedonian parliament, the ministers emphasized that such violence is unacceptable and that the constitutional order must be respected.
Editor: Aili Vahtla