Kallas: The integration process with NATO is not complete

11.09.2002 | 00:00

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Washington DC, September 4, 2002United States President George W. Bush confirmed support for Estonia´s efforts to join NATO and suggested keeping the same pace. President Bush also conceded, that integration with NATO is not complete and the final decisions have not been made yet. "The importance of NATO as an organization is increasing in battling today´s dangers," said President Bush. Kallas emphasized that Estonia does not see joining NATO as just joining a military organization, but as an alliance with a broader value system. "The objective of today´s meeting was to acknowledge the achievements of a small, yet important nation, and to recognize the nations that intend to join NATO," said Kallas.President Bush lauded Estonia´s success in reforming the economy. "You have a promising society where dreams can come true," said President Bush.President Bush informed Prime Minister Siim Kallas of the US Administration´s positions on Iraq regarding the meeting he had with Congressional leaders this morning.President Bush also raised the issue of an agreement based on the International Criminal Court´s Article 98 of Statute. President Bush assured that Estonia would not be pressured to choose between the USA and the European Union, but he stressed that for the continuance of US active foreign policy such agreements are extremely important. Both parties expressed hope that a solution satisfactory to all participants will be found on the agreement issue.In addition to President Bush and Prime Minister Kallas, US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, US Government Chief of Staff Andrew Card, US Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones, US National Security Council´s Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried, US Ambassador to Estonia Joseph DeThomas and the Estonian delegation also participated in the meeting at the White House.This morning the prime minister had breakfast with representatives of the National Council of American Estonians and the Joint Baltic American National Committee who gave him an overview of the activities of their organizations. In his meeting with Kallas this morning, Horst Köhler, IMF managing director, acknowledged Estonia´s success and assured that the IMF is satisfied with the way Estonia is developing. Kallas gave Köhler an overview of recent achievements in Estonian economic development and readiness to join the Monetary Union. Among other things, the Russian economy was also discussed. The IMF expressed satisfaction with Estonia´s activities in combating terrorism. Tonight, a reception in honor of the prime minister was held at the Capitolium where Ben Nelson, US Senator (Nebraska) and a member of the Baltic Caucus, Elton Gallegly, US Congressman and US Congressional Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe of the International Relations Committee, John Shimkus, US Congressman and Co-chair of the Baltic Caucus and Joseph DeThomas, US Ambassador to Estonia greeted him with their speeches. Tomorrow the prime minister will have a meeting with former US Vice-President Al Gore and hold a press conference at the National Press Club.Hanna HinrikusGovernment Spokesperson

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