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Ratas meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

Ratas and Netanyahu in Vilnius, 24 August 2018.
Ratas and Netanyahu in Vilnius, 24 August 2018. Source:

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Baltic counterparts that the European Union needs "peace and stability" in its neighbouring regions, and seeks to contribute to the peace process in the Middle East.

Netanyahu and Ratas as well as Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis met in Vilnius on Friday to discuss relations between the European Union and Israel, the security situation in the Middle East and the Baltic Sea region, and Russia's activities near the EU. "The activities of Russia in Syria are worrying, and we are following these developments very closely," Ratas was quoted in a government press release.

The prime ministers had a longer discussion on how to fight terrorism, but also on co-operation in the field of cybersecurity as well as how to deal with disinformation. "Terrorism is global, it endangers us all, and we have to fight it together. It is clear that no country is completely protected against attacks. Therefore, Estonia contributes to Operation Barkhane in Mali, and the Estonian Defence Forces are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan," the prime minister added.

Estonia and Israel both belong to the Digital 7, a network of leading digital governments. According to Ratas, the contribution of Israel to the security of digital identity and digital signatures will help simplify communication between Estonia and Israel. "Hopefully this will soon enable us to mutually recognise each other's digitally signed documents," Ratas said.

Ratas stated at the meeting that the head of government of Israel is always welcome in Estonia. So far, no prime minister of Israel ever visited Estonia, though President Shimon Peres visited Estonia in 2007 to attend the opening of Tallinn's synagogue.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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