Ilves: Security Situation Near Both Estonia and Turkey Has Undergone Dramatic Change (7)
At a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in Tallinn Friday, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said both the nations are NATO border countries and both have seen the security situation near their borders shift dramatically.
Ilves said the visit shows that Turkey, as the largest NATO force in Europe, is willing to solve problems with its allies. "The second reason (for the visit) is that Estonia has always been one of the biggest supporters for Turkish incorporation into the European Union,“ he said.
He said the cold shoulder given to Turkey by some of EUs largest members should be reviewed in light of recent security developments.
Erdoğan said 1,300 Free Syrian Army soldiers will join the Kurds in defending Kobane, Syria, from Islamic State warriors.
Ilves said Turkey has become a top tourism destination for Estonians, with 50,000 visiting the nation annually, while Turkish students are the fourth most populous foreign student group in Estonia.
Speaking about the relations between the EU and Turkey, Ilves said Estonia continues support a policy of EU enlargement, adding that common values are the way forward in the process.