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Kaljulaid visits Australia, attends Invictus Games event

President Kersti Kaljulaid and Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove attend a sailing event of the Invictus Games during her visit to Australia.
President Kersti Kaljulaid and Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove attend a sailing event of the Invictus Games during her visit to Australia. Source: Office of the President

Within the framework of her work visit to Australia, President Kersti Kaljulaid met on Sunday with Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove to discuss various topics. The two leaders also attended a sailing event of the Invictus Games currently underway in Sydney.

Kaljulaid and Cosgrove discussed bilateral Estonian-Australian relations, cooperation in various international organisations and the development of cooperation in the digital sphere, the Office of the President said in a press release.

"We share similar views with Australia -- we have a comparable understanding of security policy and approach to liberal democratic values. We have many opportunities for cooperation in international organizations and in the sphere of cyber defense and digital issues," the Estonian head of state was quoted in a press release as saying.

"For example, Australia is interested in taking part in the work of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, and Estonia and Australia are sharing a project to accelerate the digital development of the Pacific Ocean island states," Kaljulaid added.

Kaljulaid: I hope they bring home medals

Following their meeting, Kaljulaid and Cosgrove attended the sailing event of the Invictus Games together with members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

"I am very proud that such a strong, optimistic and energetic team is representing Estonia at the Invictus Games," she said. "It has worked hard, despite its injuries, to represent our country once again. I do hope that everyone is happy to compete, regardless of what position they come in, but first and foremost I am cheerng on our participants and hope that they bring home some medals."

The president said that the opening ceremony of the Games moved her to tears, and she reflected on the sacrifices that Estonian soldiers have made in defending Estonia far away from home; her thoughts were also with those who were injured too badly for even modern medicine to save their lives.

"Our soldiers and veterans deserve the attention, support and acknowledgement of our country," Kaljulaid said. "We should make every effort to offer sufficient support and care from the state to all our people with special needs."

The Invictus Games is an annual international adaptive multi-sport event established by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans participate in sports to keep up their fighting spirit. In total, more than 500 competitors from 18 different countries are competing in 11 different events.

This year, Estonia is represented by a 15-member team of EDF veterans. Estonian veterans have participated in the Games since they were first held in 2014. Last year, Estonians won a total of eight medals at the Invictus Games in Toronto.

While in Sydney, Kaljulaid also met with members of the local Estonian community at the Sydney Estonian House.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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