Estonia to Bring Number of Honorary Consuls in Finland to Eight, Also Prepared to Welcome Finnish Diplomat at Embassy in Georgia
At his meeting in Helsinki today with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that by working together, Estonia and Finland can increase their countries’ representation and also cut costs. “A good example of this is the exchange programme for Estonian and Finnish diplomats. Next we will be welcoming a Finnish diplomat to our embassy in Georgia; last year an Estonian diplomat worked at the Finnish Embassy in Zambia,” said Paet. “In addition, joint Estonian-Finnish visits with business delegations provide good opportunities for introducing the region and developing trade relations. One good example is the recent joint visit to Indonesia,” he added.
Paet stated that two new Estonian honorary consuls will begin working in Finland in 2012 – in Rovaniemi and Kuopio – which will bring the total number of honorary consuls to eight. “Addressing the needs of Estonian and Finnish citizens is made much easier by the legal aid agreement concluded last year, which allows for documents from both countries’ population registers to be recognised without an apostille,” he added.
Foreign Minister Paet said that Estonia is also interested in carrying out joint development co-operation projects with Finland, for example in Afghanistan. “Estonia will continue to help with the construction of Afghanistan using development co-operation and humanitarian aid resources, and joint projects with Finland would make this aid even more effective,” said Paet. “Potential co-operation projects could be related to increasing women’s rights or business training for young people,” he added.
Paet said that co-operation with Finland could also be intensified in the cyber defence field.
During their meeting, Paet gave Tuomioja an overview of developments in connection with the construction of Rail Baltic. “Decisions have been made regarding the route and administrative structure, now Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania must co-ordinate starting the thematic plan, which will provide the basis for technical projects,” said Paet. “Intense preparatory work will help us to use the European Union funds as efficiently as possible,” he added.