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Foreign Minister Paet Spoke With Representatives of Iraq, Lebanon, and United Arab Emirates About Co-operating to Find Estonian Citizens Abducted in Lebanon

17.05.2011

No. 178-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet met in Rome with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebar, Deputy Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Anwar Gargash, and Secretary General of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry William Habib, with whom he discussed matters related to the abduction of Estonian citizens in Lebanon.

Paet and Zebar also discussed co-operation between Estonia and Iraq, focusing on the rebuilding of Iraq and Estonia sharing its experiences in the information technology field. “Estonia has carried out trainings for Iraqi government officials and diplomats, and we are ready to continue working with Iraq in building up an e-state,” stated the foreign minister.

Zebar expressed gratitude for Estonia’s contribution to strengthening and building up security in Iraq.

Paet stated that Iraq’s decision to appoint an ambassador to Estonia will strengthen bilateral relations even more. “We are also interested in concluding an economic co-operation agreement with Iraq,” he added.

Secretary General of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry Habib confirmed at the meeting that finding the seven Estonians abducted in Lebanon remains a high priority for Lebanon, and everything possible is being done to uncover the circumstances surrounding the abduction. Paet said that his Lebanese colleague confirmed that the investigation will continue until answers are found.

Paet and Deputy Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Gargash spoke about co-operation between NATO and the United Arab Emirates. Paet stated that NATO must intensify its relations with all of its non-member partners. “Taking into consideration the United Arab Emirates’ contribution to the missions in Afghanistan and Libya, it is important that relations between NATO and UAE become even closer,” he added.

“The United Arab Emirates is also an important partner for Estonia in the Persian Gulf region,” stated Paet.

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

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