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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Canberra: Estonia Values Australia as International Co-operation Partner


No. 376-E

At his meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today in Canberra, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Australia is a good co-operation partner to Estonia and the European Union that also shares the same values, and Estonia feels it is important to intensify bilateral relations.

“Estonia and Australia share views on most foreign and security policy issues, and co-operation between the European Union and Australia is especially strong in the fight against organised crime and terrorism, in development and humanitarian aid, and in asylum issues,” he added.

Paet stated that the Estonian Consulate General opened yesterday in Sydney is, in addition to a helpful resource for the large Estonian community living in Australia, also a link to bring the two countries closer together in many other areas, for example political relations and the cultural and economic sectors. He added that co-operation with Australia is important to Estonia in the framework of the European Union, NATO, and the UN, as well as in contributing together to Afghanistan. Australia participates in the Afghanistan mission with 1 550 soldiers, the majority of whom are in Uruzgan Province. Just as it is for Estonia, Afghanistan is also an important development co-operation partner for Australia.

During their meeting, foreign ministers Paet and Rudd also discussed cyber defence. “Estonia would like to continue co-operating with Australia in the area of cyber defence. In order to facilitate this, we could conclude the appropriate agreement,” said the Estonian foreign minister. “We also invite Australia to participate in the partnership of the Cyber Defence Centre,” he added.

Paet invited Australia to join the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which has currently been signed by 46 countries all over the world.

At the meeting Paet also spoke about concluding bilateral agreements. He proposed that a social security agreement between Estonia and Australia be concluded as soon as possible and that negotiations should begin for the signing of an agreement for the prevention of double taxation. Estonia also supports the conclusion of a comprehensive Framework Agreement between the European Union and Australia.

In Canberra, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also met with President of the Australian Senate John Hogg. At their meeting, Paet spoke about relations between the European Union and Australia as well as developments in the euro zone.

Today the Estonian foreign minister also gave a lecture at the Australian National University’s Centre for European Studies. Paet spoke about the economic situation in the European Union, matters related to the euro, and Europe’s relations with the rest of the world.




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