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The President of the Republic presented the Defence Forces with a banner

President Arnold Rüütel today took part in a ceremony on the Song Festival Grounds where he presented the Estonian Defence Forces with a banner.

The President of the Republic at the banner presentation ceremony emphasized that it was important that the national defence of Estonia in future be based on two strong pillars: NATO membership and capability of independent basic defence. President Rüütel noted that the people had defence will and trust in the Defence Forces. "According to a recent opinion poll, the Defence Forces with their credibility ranked very high in people's eyes. This high recognition is a result of the good and honest work of servicemen and members of the Kaitseliit, and a sign of the people's trust in our national defence," the President of the Republic said.

The Defence Forces banner was donated by the Chairman of the Elders' Board of the Kaitseliit, Olari Taal, and consecrated by the Chief Chaplain of the Defence Forces, Colonel Tõnis Nõmmik. The Minister of Defence, Margus Hanson, read aloud the banner donation certificate.

The Kaitseliit donated the banner to the Defence Forces on the occasion of their 85th anniversary. On 16 November 1918, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Estonia had decided that, in order to defend the country, a popular army consisting of volunteers was to be set up.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, November 16, 2003

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