Speaker to Canadian counterpart: Our two countries enjoy great relations

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Former prime minister, Riigikogu speaker and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Canada and Estonia have deep-rooted relations, manifest in areas including defense and security and climate change issues, Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) says.

Ratas noted Tuesday that an international organization of national parliaments which both countries belong to: "Provides excellent opportunities for discussing topics which are universally important at the parliamentary level, such as issues relating to the development of the Arctic, security or climate change."

Speaking to his Canadian opposite number, Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota (LPC/PLC), via video link-up, Ratas went on to note that: "Estonia and Canada have an active and great bilateral cooperation."

"Our countries have been strong allies in NATO and partners in the UN," Ratas added, according to BNS.

The NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based in Latvia, analog to the Estonian battlegroup at Tapa, is Canadian-led.

The pair also talked improving bilateral parliamentary cooperation, fighting against climate change and the current situation of the spread of COVID-19 virus, BNS reports.

Ratas also noted the substantial Estonian community in Canada.

He said: "A community of over 25,000 people equates to a medium-size city in Estonia. Last Saturday, I had a chance to address the members of the central organization of Canadian Estonians. and to thank them for active participation in both societies."

He also thanked Canada for receiving and supporting these people during World War II.

On the basis of the existing strong cooperation, it is viable to contribute more to the work of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as well, Ratas said.

As such he invited his Canadian counterpart to co-organize a workshop on measures to combat climate change, which could be held as a part of the IPU Speakers Conference in September in Vienna, Austria.

The two speakers also shared information on the coronavirus picture in their respective countries, including the state of play with vaccines and restrictions.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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