Prime Minister Ansip held bilateral negotiations at the EU-Africa Summit

10.12.2007 | 12:36

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Lisbon, 8 December 2007 – Today, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip held several bilateral negotiations within the framework of the EU-Africa Summit held in Brussels, and also entered into diplomatic relations between Estonia and Guinea-Bissau.
The main goal of holding meetings with African countries was to look for cooperation options and develop bilateral relations.
At the meeting with Levy Mwanawasa, President of the Republic of Zambia, Andrus Ansip expressed his hope that the visit of the Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Tallinn in October laid the groundwork for more active relations between the two countries.
According to Ansip, tourism is one of the possible fields of cooperation between Estonia and Zambia.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is turning into an active tourist destination for Estonians,” he said, suggesting Zambia could introduce its tourism opportunities at the annual tourism fair TourEst that takes place in February. In turn, Estonia would be willing to introduce its experience in the development of e-elections and the e-tax board to Zambia.
At the meeting with Abbas El Fass, Prime Minister of Morocco, Prime Minister Ansip stated that the relations between Estonia and Morocco are good, but could be more active. The Prime Ministers of both countries have met before in the framework of multilateral meetings, but according to Ansip, high-level visits would contribute to promoting relations.
Ansip noted that Estonia and Morocco had economic relations even before World War II, when a small Estonian colony lived in Morocco.
“At the moment, economic relations are not very active,” said Andrus Ansip during his discussion with El Fass. “However, there are some product groups, such as timber from Estonia and textile products from Morocco, which are mutually appreciated. Over the last few years, Estonians have become more interested in the Moroccan real estate market. Trade in goods would be diversified by trade missions that could possibly accompany a high-level visit”.
Both Abbas El Fass and Andrus Ansip expressed their delight over the continuous increase of tourism relations between the two countries. Morocco is one of the most favourable holiday destinations in North-Africa, both for its climate and culture. Ansip told his Moroccan colleague that he hopes Moroccan tourism companies would visit the Estonian tourism fair.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip also entered into diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Maria da Conceição Nobre Cabral, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the joint declaration for entering into diplomatic relations, on the part of Guinea-Bissau. João Bernardo Vieira, President of Guinea-Bissau, was also present at the signing ceremony.

In addition to this, Ansip met with Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of Macedonia, with whom Macedonia’s efforts in joining the European Union and NATO were discussed. Andrus Ansip said Estonia strongly supports Macedonia in striving towards these goals.
The plenary meetings of the summits of the European Union and Africa, which started today, focused on five wider topics: peace and security, human rights, migration issues, climate change and development goals.

The Lisbon Summit is the second grand forum between the European Union and Africa. The first meeting on similar matters took place in 2000 in Cairo.

Government Communications Office

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