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Estonian Ambassador to African Union Presents Credentials

23.04.2013

Nr 138–E

Yesterday, 22 April, the first ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the African Union Paul Teesalu presented his credentials to Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in Addis Ababa. Ambassador Teesalu will thereby become Estonia’s permanent observer to the African Union.

In the discussion that followed the credential-presenting ceremony, the chairperson of the Commission of the African Union told the Estonian ambassador about the tasks the African Union is facing in order to achieve lasting peace and security in Africa. Ambassador Teesalu recognised the key role that the African Union plays on the continent. Ambassador Teesalu and Dr. Dlamini Zuma discussed the situation in Mali and the African Horn region as well as the prospects for co-operation between the African Union and the EU, including in developing economic co-operation.. Dr. Dlamini Zuma expressed certainty that Africa’s global importance is growing.
Ambassador Teesalu was born on 24 February 1975 in Lääne County. In 1997 he graduated from Tartu University and the Tartu Theological Seminary with a degree in theology and later he also studied at the Estonian School of Diplomacy and the Federal German School of Diplomacy. Paul Teesalu began his diplomatic career in 1998 in the Foreign Ministry’s political department in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia division. From 2001-2004 he worked at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia to the OSCE in Vienna, and from 2004-2007 at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia to NATO in Brussels. From 2007-2009 Teesalu was the director of the Foreign Ministry’s division for international organisations and from 2009-2010 he was the director of the Foreign Ministry’s security policy division. Since the fall of 2010 Paul Teesalu has been the Estonian ambassador to Egypt.
Ambassador Teesalu speaks English, German and Russian. Ambassador Teesalu is married and has a son and a daughter.
The African Union is an organisation made up of 54 African countries that was created in 2001 as the legal successor of the Organisation of African Unity and the African Economic Community. The goal of the union is to promote democracy, human rights, and sustainable economic development in Africa, as well as the economic and political integration of the African continent. The African Union has a complicated structure for a regional organisation, much like the European Union. The organ with the highest decision-making power is the Assembly of the African Union, which meets every January at the level of heads of state and/or government. The union consists of the Pan African Parliament, the Executive Council of foreign ministers, the Permanent Representatives Committee, the Peace and Security Council, and the Commission. The latter plays a central role in the organisation, working as the secretariat for political structures. The chairperson of the commission is the executive director of the African Union. The African Union’s headquarters are located in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the former minister of the interior of the Republic of South Africa, assumed her current position in October of last year.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/

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