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Estonia to go along with EU's position in question of Israeli capital city

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE). Source: (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) said on Thursday morning that Estonia would go along with the position of the European Union concerning current matters in the Middle East, and that he isn't afraid of potential retaliation on the part of the Trump administration.

"In the case of most of Europe's countries we're talking about a position that has been valid for decades," Mikser told ERR on Thursday morning. "From Estonia's perspective it is important for Europe to have a common position, and over the next hours we will work to get to that. In the Middle East question a solution has to be found in bilateral negotiations, such a complicated conflict can't be resolved by a one-sided declaration."

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened earlier this month to put an end to any financial aid to those countries that should support a United Nations resolution against the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

Mikser confirmed to ERR that if the EU should manage to reach an agreement on a joint position before the UN vote, Estonia would vote with the rest of the union. The vote is taking place in New York and is expected for Thursday evening or early Friday morning Estonian time.

The United States' UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, sent a letter to every member state of the UN informing them that President Trump as well as the U.S. would "take it personally" if anyone voted against recognizing Israel's step to make Jerusalem its capital, and that their vote wouldn't be forgotten.

Mikser doesn't think that relations between the U.S. and the EU as well as Estonia will worsen over the matter, and that the next steps could affect e.g. the American contribution to the region's security.

"Europe and the USA have similar positions in key questions concerning security," Mikser said. "At the same time, there are issues where we disagree, for example the Iran nuclear deal, or the Paris climate accords. But in the Middle East our aims are eventually the same, namely lasting peace in that region," he added.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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