Estonian IPU delegation condemns Turkey's actions in Syria

Smoke rising from Ras al-Ain, Syria, as seen from Turkey.
Smoke rising from Ras al-Ain, Syria, as seen from Turkey. Source: Ozan Kose/AFP/Scanpix

The 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) voted on a joint statement of the delegations of France, the U.K., Germany, Switzerland and Egypt on Monday which called on Turkey to end its military operations on Syrian territory. Estonia's delegation to the IPU joined this resolution.

Delegation chairman Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) said that the military offensive launched by Turkey had caused dozens of civilian casualties within a few days, according to a Riigikogu press release.

"According to an estimate by the UN, approximately 100,000 people have fled the combat zones, and this number is increasing rapidly," Kokk said. "Turkey's unilateral decision to launch military operations threatens ongoing peace negotiations and may cause a new large-scale refugee crisis."

The Estonian delegation to the IPU is in Belgrade this week for the 141st Assembly of the IPU. The theme of the Assembly's general debate is the strengthening of international law. Discussions this week will focus on the role of parliaments as well as on regional cooperation.

Also to be discussed are improving gender equality, the empowerment of young people, the protection of human rights and achieving of universal health care coverage.

Delegation members Helle-Moonika Helme (EKRE), Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) and Marika Tuus-Laul (Centre) are also representing Estonia in Belgrade this week.

Established in 1889 and currently consisting of 179 national parliaments, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world's oldest and largest global organization of parliaments. Estonia was a member of the IPU from 1921-1940, and restored its membership in the union after regaining independence in 1991.



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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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