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The President of the Republic met with the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament

The President of the Republic met with the Speaker of the Swedish ParliamentPresident Arnold Rüütel this morning at Kadriorg met with the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Björn von Sydow, and presented him with the 1st Class Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana.

This high state award was conferred on Björn von Sydow on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia for advocating the Estonian-Swedish defence cooperation, which President Rüütel as the Supreme Commander of the National Defence of Estonia presenting him with the order highlighted in particular. The Head of State recalled the times when Björn von Sydow had been the Defence Minister of Sweden. In 2001, Estonia had received the equipment for an infantry battalion from Sweden and several agreements on cooperation between the Republic of Estonia and the Kingdom of Sweden had been signed. The President also thanked Sweden for its support to Estonia's efforts to join NATO.

Björn von Sydow expressed his satisfaction with the great strides Estonia had made over the short period and also with the extensive cooperation between Sweden and Estonia. He noted that interparliamentary and intergovernmental cooperation both in the future European Union and in the European Convention working at the moment could be even more intensive.

The Estonian Head of State agreed on this opinion and added that, due to the enlargement of the European Union, a new dimension of cooperation would emerge, for which the Baltic and Scandinavian countries' experience of joint action could serve as an example.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 14, 2003

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