Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), who met with representatives of the Estonian American National Council (ERKÜ) and the Estonian World Council (ÜEKN) in Tallinn on Tuesday, said that the state has to strengthen its ties with the global Estonian community.
Leaders of the two diaspora Estonian organizations commended Reinsalu for his endeavor to launch the cooperation committee on global Estonianness.
The goal of the cooperation committee established in the coalition agreement is to strengthen ties with the global community of Estonians, and to promote the Estonian language and culture.
The cooperation committee is set to convene for the first time this week in Tallinn. Tuesday's meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attended by ERKÜ and ÜEKN representatives Marju Rink-Abel, Sirje Kiin and Aavo Reinfeldt.
According to Reinsalu, close communication with Estonians living abroad and the preservation of the Estonian language and culture in the world is of existential importance for a small country.
"All Estonians, regardless of where in the world they live, are always welcome in their home country," the foreign minister stressed. "Even as their path in life continues abroad, they should feel that Estonia is always facing them, and that their well-being is important to their homeland."
ÜEKN chairman Aavo Reinfeldt said that the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was important in moving forward with common understanding.
"We discussed issues concerning the preservation of the Estonian language, the improvement of cooperation between Estonians living in Estonia and those living elsewhere, dual citizenship, and the greater involvement of citizens living outside of Estonia," he said.
Better exchange of information
ERKÜ chairwoman Marju Rink-Abel said that it is important not only to share language and culture, but also to understand one another.
"One of the tasks of the cooperation committee on global Estonianness should be a better exchange of information, and I am glad that we have been involved in the planning," Rink-Abel said. "Based on this, I thought it was important to present ERKÜ's work and activities to the foreign minister. We took the opportunity to talk about our work in the political sphere and in introducing Estonia in Washington."
Editor: Aili Vahtla