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The President of the Republic met the Foreign Minister of Austria

President Lennart Meri and Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner

President Lennart Meri received Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the presidential palace of Kadriorg today. Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner thanked Estonia for supporting Austria during last year's crisis wave. He assured that no changes besides the change of government had taken place in Austria at the beginning of last year. As President Meri said, last year's events in Austria had influenced the Estonian people's attitude towards the European Union.

On the meeting it was pointed out that the bilateral relations between Estonia and Austria are good; the meeting mostly focused on the enlargement of the European Union. The Austrian Foreign Minister confirmed Austria's support to Estonia's aspirations and praised the developments so far.

The President confirmed that when becoming a member of the European Union, Estonia wishes to contribute to the strengthening of relations between the European Union and Russia; the President also said that today, the European Union should give more support to Georgia.

President Meri also expressed his hope that concrete terms of accession would be set down for the more successful candidates already on the forthcoming EU Summit in Göteborg this summer.

Also NATO enlargement and developments in Russia, including Chechnya, were discussed at the meeting.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 5, 2001


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