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The President of the Republic met with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu

President Rüütel had a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu on Thursday at Kadriorg, primarily discussing issues related to the situation in the countries covered by the EU Neighbourhood Policy.

The President of the Republic expressed satisfaction that the Riigikogu passed the Foreign Relations Act with amendments that improve the legal certainty of the act. Enn Eesmaa, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said that for the Committee the last half-year had been full of work because of the legislative proceedings of many important bills and busy foreign relations. Eesmaa noted that it is very important and rewarding that during state visits the official delegations included also members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Talking about political situation in the EU Neighbourhood Policy target countries, President Rüütel said that it is possible to see certain difficulties in the development of those countries, which gives us a reason to worry whether they are capable to fully achieve the goals that were set when they decided to take the path of democratic changes. “The general impression received from the relations with those countries shows that Estonia is being trusted and they are really interested in our experiences. It is a big responsibility for us to give them sensible advice so that there would be no setbacks in their reform process,” the Head of State noted. The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee were of the opinion that in developing relations with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova the role of Estonia among other things is to raise the awareness in other EU member states about the importance of the work done within the framework of the EU Neighbourhood policy.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa briefly touched on the viewpoints of Finland, the next EU’s Presidency, concerning the Constitutional Treaty, and said that in spite of the fact that opinions differ, it is still possible that the Treaty will soon be ratified. Eesmaa also pointed out recent contacts with Russian colleagues that have proved that it is useful to deepen the relations between the parliaments of the two countries.

The questions concerning transit were also briefly touched upon. President Rüütel said that through political efforts it is possible to considerably increase the volume of transit trade, first of all concentrating on non-dangerous and container goods. The Head of State added that the resulting additional income should be directed to the strengthening of the high-technology sector and development of innovation.

Presidendi kantselei avalike suhete osakond
Kadriorus 15. juunil 2006

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