Mr. Ansip: Estonia wants to contribute in any way possible to success of Portuguese Presidency

06.12.2006 | 18:32

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Today, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met his Portuguese colleague Jose Socrates to discuss topics mainly related to the development, presidency, and security of the European Union. Relations between the two countries and enhancing economic cooperation were also discussed.

The Portuguese Prime Minister admitted that not all priorities connected with the country’s EU presidency have been fixed by now. “We hope that Estonia will support Portugal during our presidency as reliable relations with good partners are essential for its success,” Socrates said.

The Estonian Prime Minister emphasized that a strong and well-functioning European Union is in the interest of all Member States and that Estonia is ready to support Portugal in every way. In addition, Ansip noted that Estonia is in favour of the further enlargement of the European Union. Estonia also considers it important to support democratic development in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. Ansip added that Estonia understands the problems connected with the Mediterranean regions, such as illegal migration. He also thanked Portugal for being active in expanding the Schengen judicial area as quickly as possible.

In his conversation with Andrus Ansip, the Portuguese Prime Minister praised Estonia’s fast development and economic growth.
“I am glad that the Soviet heritage here can nowadays only be found in antique shops,” he said. Socrates also noted that Portugal is greatly interested in continuing good cooperation with Estonia, both at the EU level and in relations between the two countries.

Andrus Ansip stressed the importance of developing good economic relations between the countries. “I am convinced that now that the Portuguese Embassy has been opened in Tallinn, contacts between our countries will become even closer,” the Prime Minister said.

Transatlantic relations, the recent visit of the President of the United States of America George W. Bush to Tallinn, issues related to the enlargement of the European Union, including the accession negotiations with Turkey, were also discussed at the meeting of the prime ministers. At the meeting between the Estonian Prime Minister and Manuel Pinho, the Portuguese Minister of Economy and Innovation, economic cooperation and innovation issues were discussed. At a meeting with Guilherme Silva, the deputy speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, possibilities of establishing a Portuguese-Estonian parliament group in the Portuguese Parliament were discussed among other topics.

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