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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Meeting With Greek Counterpart: Greek Has Made Effort to Carry Out Reforms and Reduce the Deficit and This Work Must Continue

01.02.2013

No 30-E

At a meeting in Tallinn today with Greek Foreign Minister Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the society of Greece has made a great effort in a complicated economic political situation to carry out reforms that support economic growth and reduce the deficit. “However, these activities must continue, and the support of other European societies is very important,” he added.

Paet stated that a strong European Union is in Estonia’s interests and therefore it is essential that we exit the financial crisis with greater order. “All kinds of talk about somebody leaving the European Union or the euro zone does not help at all,” he added.

The foreign ministers decided to increase co-operation between the foreign ministries of Estonia and Greece and carry out regular consultations. For example, in the near future there will be consultations on developments in the Balkans. “We would also like to appoint honorary consuls on the islands of Corfu and Rhodes as well as in Thessaloniki, plus other places in Greece, seeing as Greece is a major destination for Estonian travellers,” added Foreign Minister Paet.

Foreign Minister Paet said that Estonia is interested in defence co-operation with Greece. “Greece is welcome to participate in the activities of the Baltic Defence College and to join the NATO Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn as well,” he added.

At his meeting with his Greek colleague, Paet said that Greece could consider participating in Baltic airspace policing as well.

In talking about the Western Balkans and European Union enlargement in that region, Foreign Minister Paet said that enlargement would increase security and stability in both the Balkans and all of Europe and would give a boost to economic development. “As the 2014 presidency of the European Union, the priority of Greece will be further enlargement with an emphasis on the Western Balkans,” he added.

While talking about combating illegal immigration, Paet said that Estonia feels it is important to adhere to the principles of solidarity and is prepared to contribute to the activities of the European border agency FRONTEX. “Greece’s long and complex sea border is tempting for illegal immigrants, and keeping it secure is in the security interests of all of Europe,” he stated.

Photos from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/721576326643...

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