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The President of the Republic met with the President of French Senate

On Thursday, President Arnold Rüütel met with the President of the Upper House of the Parliament of France Christian Poncelet at Kadriorg.

It was confirmed at the meeting that the ties between Estonia and France are strong. In the words of the President of the Senate the two countries are connected by a similar history as both have experienced occupation. President Rüütel said that France has influenced the development of Estonian culture and that provides a positive ground for today’s contacts between the two countries. Both sides confirmed the existence of mutual interest in further deepening of relations.

When talking about the EU issues, the Constitutional Treaty was the first topic to be discussed. Christian Poncelet recognized Estonia for the ratification of the Treaty saying that with that act Estonia demonstrated its wish to take the responsibility for building up Europe. “The EU member states have to move quickly, but with respect to each other, towards a common foreign and security policy,” Poncelet said. He added that though the people in France hold an opinion that so far the EU enlargement has been too rapid, it is clear that the enlargement process has to be continued for the sake of the future of common European values.

The President of the Republic spoke about the activities of Estonia within the framework of the EU Neighbourhood Policy. “It is necessary that political situation in the countries covered by the neighbourhood policy will become stable so that they can uninterruptedly continue their democratic path. Their success will have a positive influence to the developments also in many other countries,” the Head of Estonian State said.

Discussing the current situation of different regional conflicts, the President of the French Senate said that now there is a unique opportunity to achieve progress in the Middle East peace process if the people understood the advantages of peace. Christian Poncelet talked about the relations between the countries of the Southern Caucasus and said that the agreement that has been reached by Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan gives some hope that in the future those countries will try to solve their differences of opinion by negotiations.

Presidendi kantselei avalike suhete osakond
Kadriorus 15. juunil 2006

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