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Estonian and Latvian Foreign Ministers Announce Winner of Translation Award

01.03.2011

No. 77-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis announced the winner of the Estonian-Latvian/Latvian-Estonian translation award. The prize was awarded to Guntars Godinš, who has translated the works of many Estonian authors including Andres Ehin, Jaan Kaplinski, and Andrus Kivirähk. He has also translated the poetry of Viivi Luik, Jaak Jõerüüt, Contra, and Kivisildnik.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed his satisfaction that very gifted translators are putting works into Latvian and introducing Estonian literature in Latvia. “The opportunity to read our neighbours’ literature in our own language helps Latvians and Estonian understand each other even better,” he stated. Paet expressed hope that in the coming years there will also be some Estonian translators in the running for the award.

In the meeting that took place prior to the presentation of the translation award, Paet and his Latvian colleague Kristovskis discussed Estonia-Latvia bilateral relations, including matters related to the Estonian school in Riga. “We would like for the teaching of Estonian language and culture in Riga to continue, and are prepared to keep on contributing to the school,” Paet emphasised.

In talking about the Estonia-Latvia Future Co-operation Report, Foreign Minister Paet noted that implementing the proposals in the report continues to be a priority for Estonia. “Many interesting proposals came from the report. For example, the joint celebration of Victory Day in Cesis, or presenting the border regions of both countries as a single tourism area,” he said.

The foreign ministers also talked about the situations in Libya and Belarus and emphasised the importance of supporting civil society there. “The European Union must better co-ordinate its aid for Belarus. Within the framework of development co-operation, Estonia is increasing its support for Belarusian civil society. We are also using the opportunities made possible by the Centre of Eastern Partnership,” said the Estonian foreign minister. Paet also invited Latvia to participate in the activities of the Eastern Partnership Centre in Tallinn.

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