President of the Republic received Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson

Last night President Lennart Meri received at his home at Viimsi the chevalier of the Cross of St. Mary's Land (Maarjamaa Rist), the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland of many years and the current Ambassador of Iceland to the United States Mr Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson. Mr Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson is in Tallinn for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers and his meeting with the President of Estonia was also pervaded by the spirit that the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Lennart Meri, and his colleague from Iceland had shared during the first visit of Mr Hannibalsson to Estonia in January 1991.

They both acknowledged the great role of small nations and countries in the fight for ethical and consistent politics in the world. The role of Iceland in the reindependence process of the Baltic countries was significant and vividly showed the opportunities for small countries to shape world politics. In a similar way, it is considerably easier for such small countries as Iceland and Estonia to keep pace with the fast technological development of the world than for several larger nations. This is vividly expressed in the high computerisation and number of mobile phones in both countries, also in the progress made in genetic engineering in which Estonia and Iceland are among leading countries of the world.

Mr Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson expressed his conviction that Estonia will soon join both the European Union and the NATO. According to him it signifies the reinstatement of Estonia as a full member of the family of European countries and emphasises the important role of the solidarity of small countries.

Press Service of the Office of the President
At Kadriorg on 17 April 2001