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Undersecretary Mart Laanemäe discussed bilateral cooperation with French Secretary of State for European Affairs

22.05.2015

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Undersecretary for Europe and Transatlantic Relations, Mart Laanemäe met with French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir yesterday in Paris, with whom he exchanged views on current international and bilateral topics.

At the meeting, EU migration issues were discussed at length. According to Laanemäe, Estonia and France share the view that the refugee problem must be solved jointly in the European Union. Laanemäe and Désir agreed that the European Commission's proposal for quotas should be thoroughly reviewed.

Laanemäe and Désir also discussed the European Union's climate and energy policy at their meeting. Undersecretary Laanemäe stressed the importance of developing gas and electricity infrastructure, to eliminate energy islands and create a single European internal energy market. The colleagues were unanimous on the subject of investing in the fight against climate change. According to Laanemäe, the protocol signed in Paris must set clear and legally binding commitments to mitigate climate change, which will help to achieve the objective of a global average temperature rise of less than 2°C. "Estonia supports the objective of signing a global climate agreement by the end of 2015," the Undersecretary remarked.

Undersecretary Laanemäe said bilateral relations between Estonia and France have intensified in many areas in recent years. "We have good contacts in the areas of defence, culture and economics and functioning cooperation both within the European Union and other international organizations," Laanemäe said. The colleagues recognised the potential to increase cooperation in energy, e-services and transportation sectors. On the subject of Rail Baltic, Laanemäe stressed its importance not only in improving the competitiveness of the region, but also from the standpoint of security policy. "We are ready to introduce Rail Baltic as a new freight channel to French industrial circles, exporters and representatives of the logistics sector," Undersecretary Laanemäe added.

Preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga on May 21 and 22 and the latest developments in Ukraine, as well as regarding relations with Russia were also discussed at the meeting.

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