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Estonia Appoints New Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet appointed Estonian Ambassador to Afghanistan Väino Reinart as Estonia’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Paet stated that Estonia will continue to actively participate in the work and the joint decisions of the group of special representatives so that co-operation with strategic partners can be more effective. “Transferring responsibility for security to Afghanistan requires the fulfilment of many conditions, and Pakistan also plays a key role in resolving issues in Afghanistan,” Paet noted.

The foreign minister said that Estonia will continue to contribute to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on the current level. “We will also monitor changes in the security situation in Afghanistan and is prepared to change the structure and nature of its participation based on improvements in the security situation and the needs of the operation,” he said. Paet stated that there are currently 165 Estonian Defence Forces members in the ranks of ISAF in Afghanistan, in addition to eight police officers in two civil missions – the European Union and NATO missions – as well as a five-member surgical team, a security advisor, and a health care expert.

“Afghanistan will remain Estonia’s main development co-operation partner country for the next five years,” Paet asserted. He added that education and the health care sector are of particular importance in Estonia’s development co-operation. “This year Estonia is supporting development co-operation projects in Afghanistan with 600 000 euros. This is a third more than what we allocated last year,” he added.

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