Foreign Ministers Paet and Tuomioja: Estonia and Finland Mourn Together With Norway
During their meeting in Tallinn today, Estonian Foreign Minister
Urmas Paet and Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja expressed
profound condolences to the people of Norway over yesterday’s tragic
events. “This is a tragedy for Norway as well as all of Norway’s
friends. Estonia and Finland are mourning together with Norwegian
society,” said Paet and Tuomioja.
Paet stated that Estonia is feeling the pain of yesterday’s events
along with Norway. “The murder of at least 90 people at the youth camp
and in Oslo is a shocking and brutal crime that has deeply affected
Estonian society as well,” he said.
Paet and Tuomioja expressed condolences to the loved ones of those
killed in Norway. “The explosion in Oslo and the shooting of people at
the youth camp on the island of Utøya are grave crimes for which there
is no justification,” the foreign ministers said.
During their meeting in Tallinn Paet and Tuomioja also talked about
the development of Estonia-Finland relations. Among the areas in which
Estonia would like to develop co-operation with Finland are the defence
and security policy sectors, including cyber security. “The Estonian
Embassy is the NATO contact embassy in Helsinki for 2011-2012,” Paet
stated. “Finland has also contributed to the creation of the Estonian
Centre of Eastern Partnership, and the members of our defence forces
work together in the Nordic Battle Group,” said Paet, naming examples of
Estonia and Finland’s joint activities. Finland is one of Estonia’s
most important trade partners and Estonia is the most important target
market of Finland’s tourism economy.
Paert said that Estonia is prepared to offer Finland a chance to
share embassy space in Minsk. Estonia represents Finland for the issuing
of Schengen visas in Minsk and Pskov. The foreign ministers also
discussed Estonia-Finland co-operation in education and research,
environmental protection, and the cultural sector.
In talking about Nordic-Baltic co-operation, Paet noted that Estonia
and Finland’s co-operation is made special by the fact that the 20th
anniversary of the restoration of Estonia’s independence will be
celebrated together in August. “For example, on 30 August a foreign
ministers’ conference dedicated to the relations of the Nordic and
Baltic nations will take place in Helsinki,” Paet stated.
This year Estonia is the leader of Baltic co-operation and Finland
the head of co-operation among the Nordic and Baltic countries (NB8).
“The topics that are most important to us are security, energy, and
matters related to the economy and environment,” said Foreign Minister
International developments discussed by the Estonian and Finnish
foreign ministers included the situation in Northern Africa and the
Middle East as well as the transfer of responsibility for security from
the international community to the Afghan authorities.
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