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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: We Must Support the Countries Accepting Syrian Refugees More Than Before

23.07.2013

No 246-E

Unfortunately there is no quick solution to the Syria conflict on the horizon and it is essential to continue supporting the countries that are accepting Syrian refugees, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said at the meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Brussels. “However, many of Syria’s neighbouring countries have started to limit the number of refugees received,” he added.

Paet said that the conflict in Syria is the greatest humanitarian disaster of this century, and more than half of those affected are children. This year Estonia has contributed to helping Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon with a total of 200 000 euros donated through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF. “In addition, we have decided to support the creation of a school environment for school-aged Syrian refugees in Jordan and send a logistics expert from the Estonian Disaster Relief Team to join a mission in Jordan to help support the construction of a new Syrian refugee camp near the city of Azraq,” Paet said. Last year Estonia supported victims of the Syria crisis with a total of 220 000 euros.

“The most important thing is for humanitarian aid to reach those who need it,” said the foreign minister. “The humanitarian situation in Syria is catastrophic and is constantly growing worse. About 6.8 Syrians are in need of aid, over half of whom are children. Aid workers are unable to reach 4.7 million people,” he explained. The number of displaced persons at the border is constantly growing. The most refugees are accepted by Lebanon and Jordan.
 
The Estonian foreign minister also emphasised that with a view to the stability of the region, a political solution to the Syrian conflict is the only possible option, especially taking into account recent developments in Egypt. “Both sides must end the violence. Estonia supports common efforts to call together an international conference in order to end the bloodshed in Syria,” Paet noted. “Supplying weapons to conflict areas is not a solution. Adding new weapons would mean more loss of life and greater destruction,” he added.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok
Press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee
 

 

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