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The President of the Republic met with the leaders of Croatia

President Arnold Rüütel today in Zagreb met within the framework of his state visit with the President of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic; Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Vladimir Šeks, and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, and opened a Croatian-Estonian business forum. At the meeting of delegations, following the official welcoming ceremony, primarily Estonian-Croatian bilateral political and economic relations were discussed.

In the words of the President of the Republic, Estonia supports Croatia in the process of the EU and NATO accession and is ready to share its negotiation experience with Croatia. President Mesic added that Croatia is very much interested also in Estonian experience gained within the framework of the Baltic cooperation, as such experience might be applicable in cooperation in the Balkans region.

At the meeting with Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Vladimir Šeks, issues related to interparliamentary relations were discussed.

At the meeting with President Rüütel, Prime Minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader pointed out that he is very pleased that Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications and Minister of Finance are accompanying the President during the state visit, as the promotion of economic cooperation with Estonia is a matter of great importance for Croatia. In the words of the Estonian Head of State the development of Croatia has been rapid and successful, and he re-confirmed the readiness of Estonia to share its experience with Croatia in the hope that it would support Croatia's development. The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of Croatia shared an opinion that better infrastructure, especially connection of Via Baltica with Via Adriatica, would facilitate the promotion of mutual contacts between our two countries.

Croatian-Estonian business forum was held at the Croatian Chamber of Economy, and was opened by the Presidents of Estonia and Croatia, and President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Nadan Vidoševic. The Head of State is accompanied by a business delegation of 14, headed by Toomas Luman, President of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Opening the business forum, the President of the Republic gave a brief overview of the development of Estonian economy after the restoration of independence, and said that though in the eyes of Estonians Croatia has secured a definite place as a EU candidate country that has achieved remarkable progress and as a country attractive for tourists, there is still a lot to learn about Croatia and its economy

President Rüütel will meet also with Chairman of Zagreb City Council Tatjana Holjevac. In the evening, President Stjepan Mesic and Mrs. Milka Mesic will host a festive dinner in honour of the President of the Republic and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel.

As a part of her special programme, Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel visited the Croatian Museum of Arts and Crafts, and the Museum of Ethnography, and met with Croatian folklore ensemble ''Lado''.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Edgar Savisaar and Minister of Finance Aivar Sõerd met with their Croatian colleagues and discussed possibilities of further cooperation and exchange of experience.

On February 9, the President of the Republic and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel will visit the City of Dubrovnik where they will meet with Governor of Dubrovnik-Neretva County Ivo Miletic, and Mayor of Dubrovnik Dubravka Šuisa, and will get acquainted with the sights of interest in Dubrovnik. In the evening President Rüütel and Mrs. Rüütel will meet with the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. On Friday, February 10, the President of the Republic will leave Croatia by plane for Torino to attend the Olympic games.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 08, 2006

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