US intelligence coordinator meets with Estonian president, officials

US Ambassador to Estonia James D. Melville, US Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Tallinn. Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (Rene Suurkaev)
8/11/2016 3:44 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

On a visit to Estonia on Thursday, the US Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., took part in successive meetings in Tallinn with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas as well as Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur focusing on matters related to security, intelligence and bilateral cooperation

Clapper with President Ilves

"The security of NATO allies and our closest partners requires competent analysis based on quality intelligence information in order to be able to make the right decisions, whether they are about preventing international terrorism, undermining terrorist organizations or evaluating the actions of countries that are unfriendly toward the alliance," Ilves was quoted by spokespeople as saying.

Clapper in turn expressed his appreciation for Estonia's intelligence capability and close cooperation with allies.

Ilves and Clapper contended that changes to the security picture in NATO's close neighborhood require an intelligence reform in NATO. "We must be well informed about threats, precise in our estimates and analyses, effective in our cooperation," the Estonian head of state said.

The importance of ensuring cyber security more broadly was likewise discused at the meeting, which took place at the Office of the President in Kadriorg.

Clapper with Prime Minister Rõivas

"Good intelligence analysis and substantive exchange of information help to make the right decisions. I'm glad that the intelligence institutions of Estonia and the United States are working closely together," Roivas said at his meeting with the American intelligence official.

Clapper thanked the Prime Minister of Estonia for the remarkable contributions of Estonian authorities to partnership relations and described the work of Estonian intelligence agencies as very professional and of high quality. He also acknowledged the contribution that Estonia was making by spending 2 percent of GDP on national defense, a NATO goal met by very few other member states.

"There are definitely plenty of opportunities to intensify intelligence cooperation between our countries," Rõivas said.

Clapper with the Minister of the Interior Pevkur and other officials

In a meeting with Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur and Estonia's top interior security officials, the Estonian minister said that both countries share the same understanding of the security situation in Europe and its environs and are making joint efforts to ensure the security of the region's residents, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior said.

Clapper described Estonia as a firm ally to the US and said that when it comes to interior security, bilateral exchange of intelligence data deserved special mention. He said cooperation to deter Russian aggression and in the fight against terrorism in Europe continue to be important.

Pevkur voiced appreciation of the US' commitment to making a contribution to the internal security of Europe, the Baltic States and Estonia, and observed that security cooperation between the EU and NATO must be expanded further.

The minister pointed out that Estonia will hold the EU presidency next year and that one of the challenges for the EU is to respond together to threats emerging in Europe and prevent them.

"This can be done only by means of joint and well thought-out action; nobody can be successful in today's world acting alone," said the minister.

The meeting between Pevkur and Clapper was also attended by Ministry of the Interior Secretary General Lauri Lugna, Deputy Secretary General for Internal Security Policy Erkki Koort, Director General of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Elmar Vaher as well as the Director General of the Internal Security Service (KaPo) Arnold Sinisalu.

About James R. Clapper, Jr.

A retired lieutenant general in the United States Air Force (USAF), James R. Clapper served as Diretor of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1992-1995. He was the first Director of Defense Intelligence within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and simultaneously the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and has held several key positions within the US intelligencce community. He served as Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from Sept. 2001-June 2006, and was sworn in as the fourth Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Aug. 9, 2010.

The Director of National Intelligence is the principal advisor to the President of the United States of America, the National Security Council as well as the Homeland Security Council regarding intelligence matters related to national security in the US.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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