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Foreign Minister Paet: USA and European Union Can Work Together More Effectively in Afghanistan


No. 286-E

At the meeting of European Union and NATO foreign ministers organised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the further enlargement of NATO must be addressed at the next NATO summit and that co-operation in Afghanistan is a very important part of European Union-USA relations.

Paet stressed that during the NATO summit taking place in November it is necessary for NATO to express its outlook on further enlargement very clearly, including in regards to Georgia’s prospects for joining NATO. “Taking into account the fact that Ukraine’s NATO-oriented activities have changed, we can no longer address Georgia and Ukraine in the same way in the context of NATO enlargement,” said Paet. “We must support Georgia’s confidence. This is an essential step for ensuring a safer and more stable Europe,” he said.

Paet also noted that the situation in Afghanistan demands closer co-operation between the European Union and the USA. “European Union-USA co-operation in building up Afghanistan and in transferring the responsibility for security over to the Afghans is definitely a topic that must be addressed at the upcoming EU-USA summit,” said the Estonian foreign minister. “It is also extremely important for co-operation between NATO and the European Union to be more effective than before,” Paet added.

At the meeting of US Secretary of State Clinton and the European Union foreign ministers in New York, other topics addressed included Serbia-Kosovo relations and the EU membership prospects of those countries, the international community’s aid to Pakistan, and Israel-Palestine discussions.

Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will participate in a meeting of the NATO, European Union and Russian foreign ministers, during which the focus will be on NATO-Russia partnership and the European arms control agreement. Developments in European security, EU-Russia co-operation, and world political trends regarding Iran, the Middle East peace process and the fight against piracy will also be discussed. The Estonian foreign minister also has meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya scheduled for today.

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