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The President of the Republic and the President of Finland visited Tartu

The President of the Republic and Mrs Rüütel together with the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen, today visited Tartu.

At their meeting with the Rector of the University of Tartu, Jaak Aaviksoo, educational cooperation between Estonia and Finland, Estonia's possible accession to the European Union, and the Finnish experience gained in the European Union were under discussion. President Halonen compared the European Union with marriage: "Everyone can talk about it but only those who actually have been married know what it is. Like in a marriage, success is never guaranteed but together a lot can be accomplished."

The Heads of State met with the faculty and students of the Department of Finno-Ugric Languages of the University of Tartu and called at the house of the Estonian Students Society.

President Halonen at the University of Tartu delivered a speech in Estonian on the European Union and the Finnish-Estonian relationship.

During the lunch, President Arnold Rüütel and the Finnish President met with the Mayor of Tartu, Andrus Ansip. President Rüütel said that although there had been a lot of talk about constructing a bridge between Finland and Estonia, a strong imaginary bridge between us had actually existed for a long time already.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, September 10, 2003

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