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At the meeting of Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Sven Mikser and Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, good bilateral relations of Estonia and Turkey, deterrence measures against Russia and the security situation in the Middle East were spoken about.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Sven Mikser emphasised at the meeting that Estonia valued bilateral security cooperation highly and regarded Turkey as a close ally.

“At the time when the security situation in the Baltic Sea region has deteriorated due to Russia’s aggressiveness, and the Middle East and Mediterranean region is threatened by the humanitarian and refugee crisis caused by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, it is especially important to understand the indivisibility of security,” Mikser said.

Mikser added that unfortunately Russia’s military intervention in Syria had brought along serious humanitarian disaster, and resolving it should be the highest priority of the international community.

When speaking of bilateral relations, Mikser expressed hope that, in spite of the complicated security situation in its eastern neighbourhood, Turkey would be able to participate in NATO air policing mission at Ämari Air Base in the future. “In the past, Turkey has showed its firm support of Estonia’s independence with its non-recognition policy, and as an ally in NATO, it has done a lot to strengthen our security,” Mihkelson said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey said that Estonia had been a very good partner to Turkey. He thanked Estonia for its support in the communication with the European Union and for participating in the relocation of refugees.

The Minister emphasised that although the relations between Turkey and Russia had become more stable, for example in the economy, this did not change Turkey’s views about the events in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. He added that, regarding Russia’s activities in Syria, Turkey had a firm position: Syria could not be a condition in the negotiations on bilateral relations. Both sides also explained their positions on the impact of sanctions against Russia.

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, and Chairperson of Estonia-Turkey Parliamentary Group Kadri Simson and Deputy Chairman of Estonia-Turkey Parliamentary Group Ivari Padar also attended the meeting.

Riigikogu Press Service
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