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President affirms Estonian people's support for EU in Düsseldorf

Kersti Kaljulaid in Düsseldorf with Armin Laschet.
Kersti Kaljulaid in Düsseldorf with Armin Laschet. Source: Republic of Estonia Government Office

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid stated during meetings in Düsseldorf, Germany yesterday, Friday, that the Estonian people value the EU and the freedoms offered by it.

"The European Union is the guarantor of our treasured freedom; therefore there is strong support for the European Union in Estonia," Ms. Kaljulaid said whilst meeting with the Prime Minister of the most populous German state (Land), North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet. Düsseldorf is the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.

A united and strong EU is important for Estonia and Germany alike, and we value the role of Germany in preserving the unity of the European Union, the president went on, according to spokespersons.

According to the Estonian head of state, it is important to also offer the partners of the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) an opportunity to identify European integration as their aim.

EaP countries

The EaP countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

"I recently visited Georgia and Ukraine, and I was pleased to see a strong civil society there and orientation towards European Union values,'' President Kaljulaid reportedly said.

''I hope that the European Union will find the opportunity to link these countries further to itself," she went on.

The participants in the meeting also dwelt at length on the aftermath of the NATO Summit in Brussels, the security of the EU, and the topic of migration.

Cooperation between Estonia and North Rhine-Westphalia

On Firday morning, Kaljulaid also met with Andre Kuper, the president of the regional parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia whilst in in Düsseldorf, and the German state's minister for European, Federal and International affairs, Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, to discuss opportunities for cooperation between Estonia and North Rhine-Westphalia in e-solutions.

On Friday evening, the President was due to speak about Estonia's digital society and public sector e-solutions at a business seminar in the nearby city of Münster.

Today, Saturday, Ms. Kaljulaid and Raimonds Vējonis and Dalia Grybauskaitė, the heads of state of Latvia and Lithuania respectively, were set to accept the Peace of Westphalia Prize, which in 2018 has been awarded to all three Baltic states. The Baltic presidents will also meet with their German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS

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