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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: ISIL’s activity also increases security risks in Europe

20.10.2014

16.10.2014

At today's debate on the security situation in the Riigikogu, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia belongs to the international coalition against the extremist group ISIL (ISIS). “A permanent solution in Iraq will definitely not come through military action alone, rather it is important to reach the point where Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds would be involved in the political process,” the Foreign Minister said. “In order to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the entire Middle East region, we have allocated a total of nearly 1.4 million euros over the past few years.”

The Foreign Minister also warned against radicalization in Europe. He stressed the need to be particularly careful in terms of open internal borders within Europe, in order to exclude such risks in the bud. “Estonia will review its laws in order to prevent the movement of foreign fighters from the Middle East, as well as the financing and supplying of terrorists,” Paet added.

Speaking on the subject of security risks south of Europe, the Foreign Minister stated that security risks originating from the area are increasing. “Despite some positive changes, the Arab spring left a heavy burden in many nations to the south of Europe in the form of internal conflict, especially Libya and Syria,” he added. Commenting on the situation there, the Foreign Minister expressed concern about the impending wave of refugees to South-Eastern Europe. “We consider the strengthening of the European Union's border security agency Frontex and the granting of all manner of assistance to countries at the forefront of the refugee problem to be a necessity,” the Foreign Minister noted.

According to the Foreign Minister, Ebola is also a growing threat to the security of the entire world, which calls for decisive action by the entire international community. “If the virus cannot be stopped and it continues to spread at the same pace as today, the number of cases could rise to more than 1.5 million by the end of the year,” the Foreign Minister said. This year, Estonia has supported efforts to stop the spread of Ebola with a total of 100 000 euros.

The speech in its entirety: http://vm.ee/en/news/discussion-changed-security-situation

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