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Foreign Minister Paet: Estonia Considers European Union Enlargement in Northern Europe to Be Important As Well

08.10.2010

No. 305-E

At his meeting with Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Estonia supports Iceland’s accession to the European Union and therefore also EU enlargement in Northern Europe.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that Iceland will always have a special emotional significance for Estonia, as it was the first country to recognise the independence of the Republic of Estonia on 22 August 1991.

Paet and Skarphédinsson spoke in detail about the status of Iceland’s accession negotiations with the European Union. “We hope that the meaningful accession negotiations will continue to go smoothly and that the support of the Icelandic people for accession will increase,” said Paet. The foreign minister added that Estonia continues to be prepared to share its accession experiences with Iceland within the framework of bilateral aid and in co-operation with the commission. “We are prepared to share our experiences regarding accession negotiations in complicated areas like agriculture, structural means, the environment, taxes, and also public awareness,” Paet noted.

In talking about regional co-operation, the ministers dedicated considerable time to the Nordic-Baltic co-operation report. Paet said that the proposals made in the report completed this past summer are a good basis for future co-operation in concrete projects. “The report offers concrete proposals for developing co-operation among the Nordic and Baltic states in the future. The matters addressed in the report will be discussed by the NB8 prime ministers at their meeting in Reykjavik on 1 November,” Paet said.

The topic of the Arctic was also addressed at the meeting. Foreign Minister Paet said that the European Union’s role in Arctic matters will grow and therefore it is essential for the European Union to achieve observer status in the Arctic Council

Photos from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry

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