President Toomas Hendrik Ilves departed on Monday for a state visit to Germany, accompanied by a 40-strong business delegation.
Ilves will have meetings in Berlin with the German President Joackim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble. He has also scheduled meetings with the National Defense Committee and with members of the Baltic friendship group.
President Ilves is making his state visit at a time when the challenges faced by Europe require close cooperation between the EU member states. The meetings will focus on the security situation in Europe, challenges faced by the common foreign policy of the European Union, fiscal policies and the development of economic relations between Estonia and Germany.
In Berlin, Ilves will also lay a wreath at the Neue Wache memorial that commemorates victims of war and violence, the Bundeswehr Memorial to fallen soldiers and the monument to the people’s uprising that took place in 1953 in East Berlin.
He will speak about e-integration in Europe at the umbrella organization of German chambers of commerce, DIHK, and at an influential think-tank, Körber Stiftung, as well as paying a visit to the Bayer Pharma research center in Berlin.
A concert of Arvo Pärt's music will be organized at the Berlin Concert Hall, followed by a reception, hosted by President Ilves in honor of President Gauck.
Ilves will also visit the University of Kiel and the research centre GEOMAR, which focuses on the Baltic Sea and ocean studies.
On Thursday, Ilves will speak at the conference in Hamburg, organized by Hamburg-Estonian business forum, as well as visiting the Kuehne + Nagel company, which has a large IT service center in Estonia.
Ilves is accompanied among others by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, the Minister of Entrepreneurship Urve Palo and the Minister of Cultural Affairs Indrek Saar, as well as by the Commander of the Defense Forces Riho Terras.
Editor: S. Tambur