At the foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia recognises the positive developments in Myanmar. “The results of the parliamentary by-elections in early April, the release of many political prisoners and the readiness of the government to follow through with reforms all attest to that,” Paet said. “Therefore, Estonia supports the suspension of all restrictions placed on Myanmar, with the exception of the arms embargo.”
According to Paet, it is important to support the internal development in Myanmar that would lead to the restoration of the democratic social system. “That means a legitimate government, the development of the rule of law and social reconciliation,” Paet noted. “It is essential that all parties are willing to co-operate in carrying out political, social and economic reforms,” he added.
Estonia has decided to establish diplomatic relations with Myanmar.
Speaking at the meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union about the developments in Afganistan, Foreign Minister Paet said Estonia considers it important to support the Afghan security forces after 2014. “Estonia condemns the attacks on NATO headquarters, embassies and parliament in Kabul in mid-April,” Paet noted. “On the other hand, we recognize the increasing competence of the Afghan security forces in dealing with such attacks and we consider it important to continue supporting the further development of the security forces,” he added.
Paet emphasized that the NATO summit in Chicago must pay special attention to supporting the civilian police of Afghanistan. “The Chicago summit must send a clear message on solving security issues and supporting civilian police,” Paet said. “Naturally, our support must be based on the activities of the Afghan government in continuing with reforms,” he added.
According to Paet, Estonia has joined Denmark’s initiative that aims to express continued political support for Afghanistan and bring together countries that are willing to contribute to ensuring the development of Afghan security forces after the transition period, from 2015 onwards.
To date, Estonia has supported the development of Afghan security forces by funding the trust fund of the Afghan army, providing experts for missions and sending a defense aide to the training mission of NATO. So far, Estonia has provided the European Union police mission in Afghanistan with four experts and the NATO training mission with three policemen.
For the 2012-2015 period, Afghanistan continues to be a priority state for Estonia in the field of development co-operation.