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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia Hopes European Union Will Also Expand in Northern Europe

04.01.2013

Nr 462-E
 

At his meeting in Reykjavik with Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarpheðinsson, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Estonia hopes that Iceland’s accession negotiations with the European Union will continue. “Iceland’s accession to the European Union would be useful for both sides,” Paet noted “With its dedication and good preparation, Iceland serves as a good example for other aspiring EU candidate countries,” he added.

Paet stated that it is important to note that the accession negotiations with Iceland in Brussels have reached negotiations on taxation and environmental issues. “We believe that even on more complicated topics, such as fishery, it will be possible to reach an agreement that takes into account Iceland’s unique characteristics while also protecting the principles of the EU,” said Paet. “We hope that many new negotiation chapters will be opened prior to the parliamentary elections in Iceland in the spring.”

Foreign Minister Paet also confirmed that Estonia is prepared to share its experiences in joining the European Union with Iceland both bilaterally and in co-operation with the European Commission. In talking about bilateral relations, Paet and Skarpheðinsson confirmed that the countries understand each other very well and have good practical co-operation. “Iceland is welcome to come work in our embassy space in Beijing as soon as it is completed next year,” said Paet.

At the meeting, Paet and Skarphedinsson also discussed NATO and the NATO air policing mission in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “As of the year 2015, Ämari air base will be completely ready to help with the air policing of the Baltic States,” said Paet.

The foreign ministers also discussed co-operation among the Nordic and Baltic countries (NB8) and co-operation within the UN.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also has meetings scheduled in Reykjavik with President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Parliament (Alþing) Speaker Ásta Ragnheiður Jóhannesdóttir, the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, and representatives of the Icelandic business community, to whom he will talk about Estonia’s adoption of the euro and European Union membership.

Photos: http://tinyurl.com/bp23dlo

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