Today 29 March, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets participated in a high-level video meeting of the UN Security Council, which focused on the humanitarian situation in Syria. The meeting was chaired by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.
The conflict in Syria is in its tenth year and the war continues despite international efforts. “Estonia calls for a full nationwide ceasefire in Syria. We condemn last week’s strikes of the Syrian regime and Russia in northwest Syria,” Foreign Minister Liimets said in her statement. “The attack on a hospital near Aleppo is particularly regrettable – it is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
The minister emphasised that the extension of the mandate of the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism this July was vital for ensuring aid reached millions of people. This vital assistance must continue, especially during the pandemic. Today, millions of people, including children, have been forced to leave their homes, and live in refugee camps where they lack necessities, and their access to food and medical assistance is restricted. Further limiting access would have catastrophic consequences for millions of people. The Syrian regime has not managed to facilitate cross-line aid, particularly in northern Syria.
The European Union, together with its member states, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Syria and the region. “Estonia has contributed financially to the humanitarian relief since the start of the crisis and will do so in the future.” The minister thanked humanitarian workers who continue providing assistance under the difficult circumstances on the ground.
Speakers included Mark Lowcock, the Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Dr Amani Ballour, a representative of the Al Amal Fund.
In addition to Estonia, the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland and Tunisia were represented at foreign minister level. Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.
Tomorrow 30 March, the foreign minister will attend the fifth Brussels conference “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”. As the conflict in Syria now passes its tenth year, the conference will provide the international community with an opportunity to join forces to mobilise and leverage support for those affected by the Syrian conflict both in Syria and in neighbouring countries.
The minister’s statement in full: https://vm.ee/en/news/statement-foreign-minister-estonia-mrs-eva-maria-l...
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia