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The President of the Republic is on a state visit to Romania

A festive ceremony in front of Cotrocen Palace. The President of Romania, Ion Iliescu and the President Arnold RüütelPresident Arnold Rüütel having started his state visit to Romania, today with President Ion Iliescu discussed ways to build a closer relationship between Estonia and Romania.

After the Presidents had met at a festive ceremony in front of Cotrocen Palace in Bucharest, they had a conversation at the Presidential Palace. The Heads of State talked about bilateral relations between Estonia and Romania, and regional cooperation both in the Balkans and at the Baltic Sea. They deemed it necessary to promote in common interests interregional communication on the North-South Axis too. The Romanian President supported President Rüütel's idea to extend the Via Baltica and Rail Baltica in future up to the Black Sea. "Up-to-date logistic solutions are engines of future developments," the President of the Republic noted.

Whereas the Estonian-Romanian economic contacts so far were very modest, then, according to the Estonian Head of State, the members of the business delegation accompanying him on the visit were interested in business relations with Romania. Talking about the enlargement of the European economic and security area, the Presidents attached importance to mutual support between countries and close varied contacts between peoples. President Rüütel expressed hope that Estonia could soon welcome Romania as its partner in the European Union.

President Iliescu spoke about the recent and present economic reforms in Romania, and planned amendments to Romania's Constitution targeted at becoming involved in the next enlargement round of the European Union.

The President of Romania accepted President Rüütel’s invitation to visit Estonia.

At the end of the meeting, three agreements between Estonia and Romania were signed: on visa exemption, readmission of persons and avoidance of double taxation.

Thereafter, the Romanian Head of State presented the President of the Republic with the Collar of the Star of Romania, and the Estonian President the Romanian President with the Collar of the Cross of Terra Mariana.

Members of the official delegation accompanying the President had meetings with their Romanian colleagues. Minister of Agriculture Tiit Tammsaar discussed with Minister Ilie Sārbu accession to the European Union and prospects of agricultural and trade cooperation both at the present stage and in the future European Union. The percentage of Romania's population engaged in agriculture exceeds 40 per cent. The Governor of the Bank of Estonia, Vahur Kraft, met with the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mugur Isćrescu.

This morning, the President of the Republic visited one of the oldest universities in Romania, the Agricultural University of Bucharest, where its Rector, Professor Ioan Alecu, gave an overview of the development directions of the University and country's agriculture. The President briefed the faculty and students on rural life in Estonia and answered their questions.

Thereafter, the President and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel toured a rural museum. Ingrid Rüütel, on top of that, had a conversation with her colleagues, folk music researchers.

In the afternoon, the Estonian Head of State at the Parliament of Romania will meet with the Chairman of the Senate, Nicolae Vacaroiu, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Valer Dorneanu.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, October 23, 2003

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