The Estonian government on Thursday approved the proposal to open an embassy in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) will open up new opportunities for Estonia in a strategic region.
"Relations between Estonia and the UAE are growing stronger, and both countries are interested in developing them further," Mikser said according to a ministry press release.
"In recent years, a number of visits at different levels have taken place, including visits to Estonia by the Minister of Economy of the UAE as well as a business delegation led by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry," he recalled. "Both were important occasions as regards to our economic interests."
Mikser explained that the opening of an Estonian embassy in Abu Dhabi is important for the country's relations with the UAE as well as other Gulf states.
"Opening the new embassy is a huge step, and it will open up new opportunities for Estonia in this strategic region," he said. "Our presence there will raise our awareness of the Gulf region and at the same time help introduce Estonia's positions and topics that are important to us."
According to the foreign minister, one of the main goals of opening an embassy there is to foster economic relations with the UAE as well as the region as a whole.
"In cooperation with the representative trade office of Enterprise Estonia, the embassy has to offer support for Estonian companies trying to enter the UAE market," he emphasised, pointing out that the UAE has been and will continue to be an economic link between Asia and Africa.
"Another important priority for the future embassy is to offer Estonian citizens services and consular assistance," he noted. "We also plan to introduce Estonia as a tourist destination."
Estonia intends to open its new embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2019. Funding for the opening thereof has been allocated under the 2019-2022 state budget strategy approved by the government on 26 April.
Estonia and the UAE first established diplomatic relations in March 2006.
Editor: Aili Vahtla