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Riigikogu committee endorses Herem as next Estonian Defence Forces chief

Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso (SDE).
Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso (SDE). Source: (Mihkel Maripuu/Eesti Meedia/Scanpix)

The Riigikogu's National Defence Committee approved Defence Minister Jüri Luik's choice of Brig. Gen. Martin Herem as the next commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

Committee chairman Hannes Hanso (SDE) told BNS that the committee endorsed Herem's candidacy unanimously.

According to Hanso, Defence Minister Jüri Luik (IRL) said justifying his choice that Herem was best qualified for the position of the commander of the EDF.

"I share the defense minister's opinion on this matter. Taking everything into account, Brig. Gen. Herem is the best candidate for this position," Hanso said. "If there is anyone ready to take on this position, it is definitely him."

"Commander of the Estonian defense forces Gen. Riho Terras also gave the committee his assessment of Brig. Gen. Herem's work so far and supported Herem as his successor," Hanso said.

Hanso expressed hope that the government will start discussing the appointment of a new commander of the EDF as quickly as possible. "Hopefully already this Thursday," he said.

Hanso also said he was glad that there was no disagreement between the coalition and opposition. "I think that it's a big thing that national defense issues are not politicized," he said.

Luik last week announced that he'll propose Martin Herem to the government as Gen. Riho Terras' successor. Herem has already accepted.

The commander of the defense forces is appointed by the government at the proposal of the defense minister and considering the position of the parliament's National Defence Committee.

Herem joined the EDF in 1992. During his career he has also worked at the National Defence College as well as in several positions in the EDF. He has taken part in an operation in Iraq, and belongs to the group of people who revived the Defence League (Kaitseliit) after Estonia regained its independence in 1991.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS, ERR

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