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Foreign Minister Paet: Honorary Consulate to be Opened in Australia Next Year Will Also Cover New Zealand

26.11.2010

No. 370-E

At their meeting in Tallinn today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet informed his colleague from New Zealand Murry McCully that Estonia plans to open an honorary consulate in Sydney next year that will also cover New Zealand. “This will be our first consulate in the region, and it will help to strengthen relations,” Foreign Minister Paet said at the meeting. “Nearly 10 000 Estonian live in Australia, and in New Zealand there are a remarkable 1 400 people with Estonian roots,” Paet added.

At the meeting, Foreign Minister Paet expressed his condolences to his colleague and the people of New Zealand over the mining accident in which 29 miners were lost due to an explosion in a coal mine.

In talking about communication on the international level, the foreign ministers addressed the European Union and New Zealand’s co-operation within the framework agreement and the fact that the European Union is New Zealand’s second trade partner by volume. While talking about NATO, Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that NATO’s co-operation with like-minded countries is important. “Afghanistan is a good example of this co-operation. New Zealand has about 230 soldiers participating in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and Estonia will also continue to serve there on its current level, a maximum of 170 soldiers,” said Paet.

At the meeting, the foreign ministers also discussed the agreement on short-term youth working and holiday visas that came into effect in 2007, which has been used reciprocally on 69 occasions. “We hope that more New Zealanders will take advantage of the agreement and come to Estonia,” said Paet.

During the course of their meeting, the Estonian foreign minister gave his colleague an overview of the Eastern Partnership Centre starting up in Tallinn, which will focus on increasing administrative capacity in the public sector of Eastern Partnership states and on sharing reform experiences. “We can offer New Zealand the help of the centre if it wishes to implement projects in the Eastern Partnership countries,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

Photo from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/5208183013/

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