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Foreign Minister Paet Met with Secretary of US Navy Ray Mabus

06.10.2010

Nr 302-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed the situation in Afghanistan, energy security matters, and NATO’s Strategic Concept with Secretary of the US Navy Ray Mabus. The two also addressed cyber security, and the foreign minister noted that Estonia considers close co-operation with the United States in Afghanistan in both the military and civil sectors to be very important.

“In addition to the fact that Estonia participates in the International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan is also one of Estonia’s most important partners for development co-operation. We are consistently working to build up the medical capabilities of Southern Afghanistan,” said Paet, adding that in addition to military co-operation, Estonia is prepared to develop co-operation with the United States for advancing Afghanistan’s civil sector as well.

Foreign Minister Paet and Navy Secretary Mabus emphasised that from the viewpoint of sustainability, it is important to increase the responsibility of the Afghans. In order to boost the Afghans’ responsibility for their nation they must have greater participation in operations and in the reconstruction of their nation, stressed Paet and Mabus. “The co-ordination of military and civil mechanisms and the participation of the Afghan government must be improved in the activities of the EU, NATO, UN and other international organisations regarding the Afghan security forces as well as development aid projects. All of this creates a situation in which we can gradually transfer the responsibility for security to the Afghan authorities,” Paet added.

In addressing energy security matters, Paet and Mabus emphasised that energy is an important sector of European Union-USA co-operation. “Both the EU and the USA must find opportunities to diversify energy supplies. Energy security-related co-operation with the USA in implementing the Southern Corridor project in the Caspian and Black Sea region is especially important,” stated Paet.

In light of the meeting of NATO foreign and defence ministers taking place at the end of next week, Paet and Mabus also discussed preparations for NATO’s new Strategic Concept. Foreign Minister Paet stated that the vision for NATO’s new Strategic Concept includes all the areas that are important for NATO regarding current and future dangers. In talking about cyber security, Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that Estonia and the USA must stand together in favour of strengthening NATO’s role in cyber security. “NATO’s ability to protect its population and forces from cyber threats must be increased significantly,” said Paet.

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