Tomorrow, 10 March, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will participate in an extraordinary meeting of the European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, where the ministers will discuss opportunities to resolve the situation in Libya. The foreign ministers will also discuss the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the international community must do everything it can to end the Gadhafi regime’s violence against the Libyan people and impose strict sanctions against Gadhafi and the others responsible for the violence. “It is important that the International Criminal Court’s criminal investigation regarding the possible crimes against humanity that have taken place in Libya has started,” he added.
Paet stated that it is extremely essential to ensure that humanitarian aid quickly reaches the Libyan refugees that have left their homes for fear of violence. “Estonia is helping Libyan refugees by donating 50 000 EUR through the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are monitoring the situation and, if necessary, we are prepared to contribute more humanitarian aid to assist Libyan refugees,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.
He added that the growing number of Libyan refugees is increasing pressure from illegal immigration on the European Union. “We should try to help the Libyan refugees in their homeland, so they would not attempt the desperate trip over the Mediterranean to illegally enter Europe,” said Paet.
According to various sources, up to 6 000 people have been killed in clashes between anti-government and regime-supporting groups. The pressure of those trying to escape the violence has become especially great on the borders of neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that since 20 February the number of Libyans that have crossed the borders into neighbouring countries in order to escape the violence is 200 000, with thousands more waiting at the border.
Paet to Discuss Resolution of Situation in Libya with European Union Colleagues