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The President of the Republic met with the President of Bulgaria

State Visit to the Republic of Bulgaria 25.-27.05.2005. From left: Mrs Ingrid Rüütel, President Arnold Rüütel, President Georgi Parvanov, Mrs Zorka Parvanova.President Rüütel tonight made a speech at dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria H.E. Mr. Georgi Parvanov and Mrs. Zorka Parvanova in honour of the President of the Republic of Estonia and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel.

At the dinner, held in Hotel Sheraton in Sofia, the President of the Republic said that the signing of the Accession Treaty to the European Union, which took place recently, was a success worth of high recognition that had been achieved thanks to strong willpower, belief and convictions that the people and the governments of Bulgaria had possessed overcoming scepticism and doubts.

''The Estonian experience has proved that the accession to the EU is a strong development and stability factor. NATO continues to have a central role in building up the defence of Europe, but at the same time the European Union is taking up increasingly bigger share in the political space of our continent. I am deeply convinced that the European Union has to strengthen its position, and to have a bigger say in international affairs. This is the only way how to guarantee that the political influence of Europe would correspond to its economic influence. In the world that is split by numerous hotspots of tension, a strong and unified Europe would be a balancing force, and we all would win from it,'' President Rüütel said.

Also the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov made a speech at dinner where he singled out the outstanding contribution of President Rüütel to the restoration of Estonia?s independence, democratic development and integration into European and Transatlantic structures. ''The people of Estonia and Bulgaria share love of freedom, wish to seek and find common language with representatives of different nations, and develop good relations with their neighbours, thus giving their contribution to the spreading of European ideals and values,'' President Parvanov said.

On Friday, the head of Estonian state will continue the state visit to Bulgaria meeting with Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, and visiting Plovdiv. President Rüütel will arrive back in Estonia on Saturday night.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 26, 2005

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