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Mikser to Abbas: Estonia supports constructive steps in peace process

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (left) and Maltese foreign minister Carmelo Abela in Brussels, Jan. 22, 2018.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (left) and Maltese foreign minister Carmelo Abela in Brussels, Jan. 22, 2018. Source: (Välisministeerium)

Foreign Minister Sven Mikser (SDE) said after Monday's EU Foreign Affairs Council and the following meeting of the ministers with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that Estonia wants the Middle East peace process to continue and develop.

"Just like the Israeli colonial activity across the West Bank is not acceptable, missile attacks against Israel or incitement of violence on the Palestinian side do not bring the two states closer to a solution," Mikser said at the meeting. "The status of Jerusalem must be solved through talks between Israel and Palestine based on international law. Estonia supports steps that move the peace process forward," Mikser said.

U.S. president Donald Trump's announcement that the United States would move their embassy in Israel to Jerusalem soon backed the EU into a corner concerning the Middle East peace process. The current lack of unity and calls in other EU countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem as well has so far thwarted efforts to bring the union back on a straight course.

Diplomats and officials in Brussels said leading up to the meeting that the recognition of Palestine won't be on the agenda, and that the best that Abbas can hope for is progress towards an association agreement between Palestine and the EU.

"I think that we need to ask him to make his response to decisions that we've also criticized more moderate," Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis commented.

The EU and its member states are the largest donors of Palestine. They allocated altogether €359 million to the Palestinian National Authority in 2017.

The EU ministers also discussed the current situation in the Middle East peace process on the whole, the future of the EU's partnerships with African, Caribbean, and Pacific states, and options for the future cooperation between the EU and Libya.

The head of the United Nations' support mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, introduced the diplomatic efforts made in the country to bring the Libyan peace process ahead. Mikser said that Estonia supports Libya, and emphasized the need to move forward and to try to find solutions to problems related to migration through the country and across the Mediterranean into Europe.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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