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The President of the Republic met the French Prime Minister

President Arnold Rüütel continuing his working visit to France this morning met with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

The main topic of their conversation was economic cooperation between Estonia and France. The French Prime Minister made a proposal supported by the Estonian Head of State that the cooperation could proceed through concrete projects, primarily, in the fields of agriculture and transport, but also in other branches of economy. The Prime Minister voiced hope that pertinent projects would be initiated and promoted by ministers of both states, and contacts between our countries became closer in the framework of the European Union.

President Rüütel thanked France for its all-round support to Estonia's aspirations, but above all, for France having been the very first among great powers who openly backed Estonia's accession to NATO and, on top of that, in 1991, proposed Estonia's candidacy for member of the UN. The President also invited the French Prime Minister to visit Estonia.

Thereafter, the Estonian Head of State headed for the French National Assembly where he is scheduled to meet with President of its Franco-Estonian Friendship Group Bernard Schreiner and to give a lecture on the organisation of local government and strategic planning of regional development.

This afternoon, the Estonian Head of State at the Elysée Palace will meet with French President Jacques Chirac.

In the evening, Ambassador Andres Talvik at the Estonian Embassy will host a reception in honour of the President of the Republic. Subsequently, the Estonian Head of State is going to meet Rémy Robinet-Duffo, President of the Baltic Committee of the Central Union of French Employers, and businessmen to discuss with them Franco-Estonian economic relations and to inform them of possibilities to invest in Estonia.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 27, 2003

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