President stresses need to preserve unity of countries that think alike

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The Presidents of Lithuania, Germany, Latvia and Estonia at a meeting in Riga. Feb. 9, 2017.
The Presidents of Lithuania, Germany, Latvia and Estonia at a meeting in Riga. Feb. 9, 2017. Source: (Office of the President of Latvia)

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid stressed at Thursday's meeting with her Baltic and German colleagues that the more hectic the world is, the more important it is to preserve unity between countries that think alike.

During the meeting in Riga, Kaljulaid thanked German President Joachim Gauck, who was on his final foreign visit, for his strong promotion of common European values, spokespeople for the Estonian president said.

The meeting between the four heads of state, Kaljulaid, German President Joachim Gauck, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, mainly focused on international relations and security issues.

"When we and the countries that think alike and share the same values as us have, figuratively speaking, drawn down red lines, it is extremely important that we stand together for the red lines to remain in place," Kaljulaid said at the meeting.

During a discussion regarding the future direction of the EU, Kaljulaid stressed that the union has to focus more on the protection of joint interests and common values. "Migration, security, economy, but also environmental issues — in these, the EU is definitely more capable. No country in Europe can manage big challenges alone better than together," she said.

Gauck: Germany stands by its Baltic partners and friends

German President Joachim Gauck assured the Baltic states of Germany’s solidarity in their defense and security. “Germany stands by the side of our Baltic partners and friends,” Gauck said.

Gauck said the reaction to the ongoing conflict with Russia over East Ukraine couldn’t be to wait for further developments, and that the situation was cause for concern.

Cooperation between the three Baltic countries was also discussed during a trilateral meeting of their presidents. The Estonian head of state stressed the need to move forward fast with joint large-scale transport and energy projects.

The three Baltic heads of state thanked German President Joachim Gauck for his contributions to promoting European values. "Germany plays a key role in European politics and for us it is important that it is a country that thinks like us in nearly all the areas that are important to us," said Kaljulaid. "In that, Gauck, who is to leave office soon, played a big role."

While in the Latvian capital, the Estonian president also visited the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga and the Estonian School in Riga. At the end of her visit, she also attended a celebration of the 99th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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