Estonian foreign minister discusses security, EU with Finnish president, counterpart ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki. Jan. 31, 2017.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki. Jan. 31, 2017. Source: (Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

At a meeting with Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki on Tuesday, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser discussed topics including transatlatic relations, European security and defense as well as the upcoming Estonian presidency of the EU.

Mikser emphasized at the Tuesday meeting that Estonia and Finland share a bond in their long and historic friendship. Mikser congratulated Finland on the centenary of its independence and noted that centenary celebrations ahead in both countries present a great opportunity for the two neighbors to get to know one another better.

On the subjects of transatlantic relations, European security and defense, the Estonian minister emphasized close relations with the U.S. and the importance of NATO partnership. "Finland is our close partner who contributes to the security of the Baltic Sea region, thus also to the overall security of Europe," Mikser noted. "Both Finland and Sweden as partner countries have a close relationship with NATO and it is in our interests for it to continue."

Discussing topical EU issues and the upcoming Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, Mikser provided an overview of Estonia's preparations and priorities. "Our goal is to keep the EU united and decisive, focusing on innovative economy and developing a safe, digital and inclusive Europe," the Estonian minister said. On the subject of Brexit, the two ministers agreed that it is important to maintain a close cooperative relationship taking into account all rights and obligations.

During their meeting, the ministers also discussed recent developments in Ukraine and relations with Russia, as well as supporting each other's candidacies in international organizations.

On the subject of the migration crisis, Mikser emphasized that Estonia does everything in its power to successfully integrate asylum-seekers into local society. "Estonia is ready to fulfill the international obligations it has taken on regarding refugees," he stressed.

Regarding the economy, Mikser noted that closely connected Estonia and Finland wish to cooperate in almost every field and that economic relations are good and close.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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