Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that during a telephone conversation today, Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Sham confirmed that the Lebanese government is taking the abduction of Estonian citizens very seriously and is undertaking serious measures to resolve the situation.
Paet has also spoken about the incident with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. The Foreign Ministry and its representations have been in touch with diplomats of Great Britain, the United States and Poland. Estonia is grateful to the countries, organisations and individuals that have offered their help and expressed their support.
Tonight an Estonian diplomat will arrive in Beirut, whose task is to maintain contact on-site and exchange information with the Lebanese ministries and authorities as well as with the embassies of NATO and EU countries there.
The Foreign Ministry has been in contact with the families of all the kidnapped citizens and will continue to be in contact with them and pass along information.
The crisis commission will continue working until the situation is resolved.
If we obtain any new information, we will announce it immediately.
On 23 March seven Estonian citizens were kidnapped near the city of Zahlé in the eastern part of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, 53 kilometres east of Beirut. Currently we do not know the identities of the kidnappers nor the motives for the kidnapping.
An interdepartmental crisis commission led by Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has been formed.
Estonian Foreign Ministry announcement (1)