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Foreign Minister Mikser: our aim is to bring Eastern Partnership countries even closer to us

19. June 2017 - 20:05

At today’s EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, the main topics discussed were EU-NATO cooperation, the fight against terrorism, migration, the EU Global Strategy, the situation in Iraq and the Gulf crisis. Shortly after the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the Eastern Partnership foreign ministers’ meeting took place to further strengthen cooperation.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller took part of the Council meeting to discuss EU-NATO cooperation. According to Mikser, close cooperation between the EU and NATO is more important than ever due to the changed security situation. “It is important to focus on areas where both organisations can complement each other. We can create added value for cyber cooperation, strategic communication and coordinated exercises by collaborating,” Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said.

Discussing the fight against terrorism, it was emphasised that the internal and external security are intertwined and it is necessary to improve cooperation in both fields. “One of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is safe and secure Europe, which includes both the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Estonia will commit to implementing today’s decisions during its Presidency,” said Mikser and confirmed Estonia’s support.

The Foreign Affairs Council was also given an overview of the migration partnership between the EU and third countries which was established a year ago to help solve the root causes of the migration crisis. In his address, the Foreign Minister of Estonia said that the cooperation with African countries must continue and affirmed commitment to migration issues during the Estonian Presidency.

In the afternoon, the Eastern Partnership foreign ministers’ meeting, which was also preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit taking place in Brussels during the Estonian Presidency, took place. “A stable, safe and prosperous neighbourhood is in the interests of the EU, but close cooperation is required to achieve it,” Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised at the meeting. “We can be pleased about tangible results but there is still much to be done. Our aim is to bring the Eastern Partnership countries even closer to us,” Mikser added.

In addition, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini introduced the one-year Global Strategy implementation report. According to Foreign Minister Mikser, more has been achieved in strengthening the EU security and defence policy in the last year than in the last decades. Estonia will conduct its activities in accordance with the priorities set out in the report, e.g. strengthening the EU neighbourhood’s resilience to crises and dangers.

Over lunch, ministers discussed the situation in Iraq, focusing on possibilities to ensure the stability of the country after Mosul has been freed from Daesh. The EU foreign ministers also discussed the current crisis in the Gulf region, the Member States are looking for urgent resolution to the crisis.

Additional information:

Armo Vask
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Communication Department
armo.vask@mfa.ee
+372 637 7618
+372 5666 8581

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