Former U.S. Secretary of State awarded Estonian Order of Merit

Estonian and U.S. flags.
Estonian and U.S. flags. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia will award an Order of Merit to former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz on his 100th birthday for his services to Estonia.

"We are very honoured to recognise George Shultz, the former U.S. Secretary of State. The people of Estonia will never forget his services to the restoration of our independence," Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said.

Reinsalu said Shultz was integral to Estonia achieving its freedom and advocated for the policy of non-recognition.

"In 1983, George Shultz, the U.S. Secretary of State at the time, wrote to the Consul General of the Republic of Estonia and acting ambassador Ernst Jaakson that Soviet Union troops invaded Estonia in 1940, and assured him that the United States had never recognised their occupation and did not intend to change that principle in the future," Reinsalu said.

As the Secretary of State, Shultz valued transatlantic relations. "The transatlantic link was, is and remains a cornerstone of Estonia's foreign policy and the guarantor of security in Europe. We are committed to reinforcing this link," Reinsalu said.

George Shultz was the Secretary of State of the United States between 1982 and 1989. He has held various cabinet posts. On December 13, Shultz will celebrate his 100th birthday.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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