At the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers held today 10 January in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu called on the European Union to support an independent and transparent investigation into the crash of the Ukrainian plane. He said new circumstances were coming to light concerning the accident with many civilian casualties in Tehran, and the families of victims deserved clarity based on evidence.
“For this to happen, the team of Ukrainian experts needs Iran’s full support and access to the evidence in the crash site. We call on the member states to exchange information on this issue,” Minister Reinsalu said. “If the international rules and norms on the safety of civilian aviation are not followed, we should condemn it in the strongest terms and demand accountability,” he added.
Reinsalu also stressed that after Iran’s recent missile strikes in Iraq, Estonia considers it crucial to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region by diplomatic means, in line with international law and transatlantic unity. The foreign minister said there were some signs of the de-escalation, however, serious negotiations between the parties were crucial for easing tensions and stopping nuclear proliferation.
“Estonia considers it regrettable that Iran has promised to stop complying with the nuclear agreement,” Reinsalu said. “The Western partners must come to an agreement on how to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state, and these discussions are still ahead of us,” he added.
Reinsalu condemned Iran’s strikes on coalition bases in Iraq and the attacks on the Embassy of the United States in Baghdad. He also said that Estonia understood the right of the United States to protect its citizens and coalition partners against potential attacks.
Speaking about Libya, the foreign minister emphasised that Estonia found military escalation regrettable. “The Libyan crisis can only be resolved politically, and peace and stability in Libya is achieved through a political transition process that includes all parties, and through following the weapons embargo,” he said. Estonia supports the activities of the UN towards achieving a ceasefire and continuing the political process in order to come to an agreement on holding parliamentary and presidential elections.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell has invited EU ministers to discuss the situation in connection with the strikes of the United States and Iran in Iraq, and find ways of de-escalating tensions and stabilising the situation. He has also called for stopping external interference and establishing a ceasefire in Libya in Tripoli and its surrounding areas.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
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