Baltic states say bin Laden death brings peace closer
The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US forces will weaken the international terrorist network al-Qaeda in the short term, officials from the three Baltic states said Monday, DPA reported.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are all NATO members, and all have forces serving in Afghanistan.
Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks told the LNT television channel: "It is clear that bin Laden was one of the top leaders of his terrorist group and his death will certainly weaken the network."
While the death of bin Laden is a tactical victory, resolution of regional conflicts would also require a more strategic approach, Parbriks said.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet told the ETV television channel that because bin Laden had been "an important symbol of international terrorism" for a decade, his death would strike a "strong blow" to terrorism.
The European Union's current ambassador to Afghanistan - former Lithuanian foreign minister Vygaudas Usackas - was quoted on the website of the Lietuvos Rytas daily as saying the news of bin Laden's death would "inspire confidence in the region" and encourage peace and reconciliation.