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Estonia Wants Free Trade Agreement Concluded Between EU and Persian Gulf Countries


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At a meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries of the European Union and the Persian Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC, whose members are Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain) in Manama, Bahrain, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the EU and Persian Gulf countries must achieve a free trade agreement and conclude a concrete new joint action plan.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that it is essential to co-operate with one another in finding solutions to complicated issues such as regional crises, including the Syria crisis. “We also all consider the fights against terrorism and piracy to be important, as well as matters related to ensuring cyber security,” he added.

The Estonian foreign minister also noted that we are interested in promoting economic co-operation and trade between the EU and Persian Gulf countries. “One potential sector in which we could have mutually beneficial co-operation is information technology,” he stated.

Paet said it is also essential to move forward with the visa facilitation process between the EU and Persian Gulf countries.

Foreign Minister Paet also said at the meeting that the international community must make a joint effort to end the bloodshed in Syria. “A political solution is the only way to prevent further human suffering,” he noted.

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) is a regional organisation of the Middle East and more specifically the Persian Gulf region, which was created in 1981 and includes Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The European Union concluded a co-operation agreement with the foreign ministers of the GCC in 1989, in accordance with which they meet once a year at the ministerial level with the goal of developing trade relations and helping to ensure stability in the strategically important region.


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