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Estonia to begin diplomat exchange with Nordics and Baltics


No. 281-E

Today in Helsinki, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and counterparts from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania signed an agreement on exchange of diplomats, which allows the signatory countries’ diplomats to be sent to each other’s foreign representations in countries where no embassy is maintained.

Paet said the agreement expands Estonia’s possibilities for diplomatic relations in countries where Estonia lacks a representation and is a good example of close Nordic-Baltic cooperation. Estonia is the depositary of the agreement.

Discussing the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, Paet emphasized that Europe must continue working closely with the countries in these regions, including Egypt and Tunisia, in their progress toward an open society. “European experience in carrying out political reforms and organizing elections could be applied in North African countries as well. Protection of human rights must be under special scrutiny,” said Paet.

The foreign ministers emphasized the importance of the will of the Syrian and Libyan people in carrying out reforms for shaping the future of their respective nations. Paet said Estonia would support the sending of a European Union mission to Libya as soon as the situation there allows.

The foreign ministers also discussed EU Eastern Partnership matters and the situation in the Western Balkans and the integration of the countries of that region with the European Union.

Paet also discussed with his colleagues today the future of Nordic-Baltic cooperation at a seminar devoted to the 20th anniversary of the NB8. “Cooperation is not the goal in itself – we are united by values and interests,” said Paet. “The close cooperation between our countries has been successful politically and economically also in other fields. Close ties are precisely the reason our region is one of the fastest-developing in Europe. The productive cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries in the name of common goals and values should be an example to other regions in the EU.”

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