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The President of the Republic welcomed the President of Croatia

The official welcoming ceremony in front of the Presidential PalaceThe President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesić, and Mrs Milka Mesić who are on an official visit to Estonia this morning at Kadriorg met with the President of the Republic of Estonia and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel.

At the official welcoming ceremony in front of the Presidential Palace a guard of honour was lined up and the national anthems of Croatia and Estonia were played. Thereafter, Estonian high-ranking state officials and the members of both official delegations greeted the Presidents. The welcoming ceremony was followed by talks between the Presidents, in the course of which also gifts were exchanged.

At the Presidents' subsequent meeting with the official delegations, the main subject was co-operation in Europe and Estonia’s possible support to Croatia in its integration into the European Union.

President Stjepan Mesić expressed Croatia's desire to develop, while pooling the efforts of democratic forces, co-operation with both its neighbouring countries and the European Union. On top of that, the Head of State of Croatia voiced the desire to have a share in Estonia’s experience in the field of European integration and liberal economic policy.

President Arnold Rüütel indicated that similar understandings and approaches formed a firm foundation for the co-operation between Estonia and Croatia. Both countries attached importance to democratic values and wanted to belong to a European Union, which helped at its best our aspirations to come true, the Estonian Head of State noted.

According to President Mesić, one of Croatia’s domestic priorities was the development of infrastructure, in order to enliven through that country’s economy and, first of all, the branch with the biggest potential - tourism. In President’s estimation, the latter was the most important of the fields offering opportunities to develop the Estonian-Croatian relationship. Last year, 2.400 Estonian tourists visited Croatia who, however, made up only a very small proportion of the total of 8,5 million tourist having visited the country.

President Rüütel expressed his conviction that Estonia's inhabitants wanted to learn more about Croatia – this beautiful country at the Adriatic Sea. In the opinion of the Estonian Head of State, the well-developed infrastructure Croatia was just developing further helped to expand our contacts. President Rüütel recommended to extend the Budapest motorway under construction at present to Warsaw and to link it there to the Via Baltica, thus creating possibilities for new economic, cultural and other contacts between the North and South European countries.

At the meeting, also co-operation in several other fields, the development of which would help to promote both international co-operation and advancement of relations between Estonia and Croatia, was under discussion.

The President of the Republic of Estonia and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel today at the Kadriorg Art Museum will host a dinner in honour of the President of the Republic of Croatia and Mrs Milka Mesić.

Left: Mrs Milka Mesić, President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesić, the President Arnold Rüütel, Mrs Ingrid Rüütel

Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 7, 2003

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