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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: security issues are extremely important in relations with the United States both in the context of the EU and NATO

29.04.2014

At his meeting with United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Malinowski in Tallinn, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that security issues have become extremely important in relations with the United States, both in the context of the European Union, as well as NATO. “Given the changing security situation in Europe, it is particularly important to strengthen EU-NATO strategic partnership aimed at practical cooperation,” Paet said, adding that cooperation with the U.S. is also very important in resolving the conflict in Ukraine.

Paet stated that the U.S. decision to increase military presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland by sending one paratrooper company to each country is very important. "The presence of NATO’s most powerful member, the United States, significantly increases the security of Estonia, as well as NATO's deterrence in the Baltic Sea region. It also shows a clearly visible commitment to European security as part of NATO's collective defence efforts,” Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said, emphasizing the importance of U.S. partnership to Estonia.

On the subject of cybersecurity, Paet noted that Estonian-U.S. cooperation in this area has been very close. The joint statement on bilateral cyber cooperation, signed in December of last year by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and the United States, has strengthened ties even further. "Estonia and the U.S. are also members of the coalition of states involved in cooperation to promote internet freedom,” Paet said. A good example of the close cooperation between Estonia and the United States is the joint activity at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn.

According to Paet, 2014 is a notable year in terms of the future of Internet governance. “The cyber topic is global and affects all sectors and all countries,” he said. “There is an increasing gap developing between countries who want to restrict Internet accessibility and control its content using the pretext of guaranteeing security in cyberspace, and those who believe that free access to the Internet should be guaranteed, you must be able to freely distribute information and that human rights and fundamental freedoms must be protected in cyberspace. Together we wish to promote Internet freedom and e-government,” Foreign Minister Paet emphasized.

At their meeting, Paet and Malinowski spoke of Estonian and U.S. co-operation in the field of human rights, as well as supporting and counselling new democracies in the area of reform experience.

Photos from the meeting: https://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry.


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