Today 18 October, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets was in Luxembourg to attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, where the ministers exchanged views on relations with Eastern Partners and how to bring Eastern Partnership countries closer to the EU both economically and politically.
The meeting made preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit on 15 December. “The Eastern Partnership is a substantial part of Estonia’s foreign policy, as the values that unite us contribute to the increased security, stability and prosperity of Europe’s neighbourhood,” Minister Liimets said. She said it was important to consider the security dimension of the Eastern Partnership as well as increasing the resilience of Eastern Partners and bolstering strategic communication capabilities.
Estonia is unequivocally supporting the European Union membership ambitions of associated partners Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. “Following its decision this summer to suspend its participation in the Eastern Partnership, the Belarusian regime is not attending the summit and instead, Estonia is supporting the events for the civil society of Belarus organised in Brussels at the same time. Estonia is also supporting restrictive measures by the European Union against the organisers of migration flows to the countries neighbouring Belarus,” Minister Liimets said.
Following the recent visit of the High Representative to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Council discussed the EU’s approach to the Gulf region, including how to further engage with countries in the Gulf economically. “Estonia welcomes all attempts to ease the tensions in the Gulf region through diplomacy,” Minister Liimets said. Ethiopia was a separate topic on the agenda, and Estonia supports discussions on possible restrictive measures following the publication of the joint report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
Other subjects covered by the ministers included Nicaragua and recent events and developments in Afghanistan, Tunisia, Mali, the Western Balkans and in climate diplomacy. “In Afghanistan, the continued support of the European Union through humanitarian aid and conditional and selective development cooperation is crucial for avoiding the deterioration of the crisis and supporting the availability of essential services. We need to increase cooperation with the countries in the region and the regional cooperation platform of the European Union provides a chance to do this,” the foreign minister said.
She also had bilateral meetings with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, discussing the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Estonia and Luxembourg, and the Foreign Minister of Spain José Manuel Albares Bueno.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia