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Friday, 25.04.2014, 06:00
Paet: Estonia and Spain have excellent consular cooperation
|José Manuel García-Margallo and Urmas Paet. Tallinn, 30.10.2013. Photo: flickr.com|
“Spain represents Estonia in issuing visas in 14 countries where Estonia does have a representation,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.
Spain represents Estonia in the issuing of Schengen visas in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
According to Paet, in addition to the 6 already existing honorary consuls in Spain, Estonia would like to appoint an honorary consul for the Basque region as well.
Paet and García-Margallo also spoke about economic relations between Estonia and Spain and found that there are still unused opportunities. “Estonia and Spain have concluded two agreements regarding buying and selling of greenhouse gas emission allowances for the purpose of implementing environmentally friendly programs. Spanish entrepreneurs have also shown an interest in Estonia’s telecommunications market,” said Foreign Minister Paet. Spain was Estonia’s 19th largest trade partner in 2012.
Foreign Minister Paet also said that Spanish enterprises are invited to invest in the Rail Baltic project. “Rail Baltic has great potential to increase regional business opportunities. The railway connection project has an important role in improving transportation connections between the Nordic-Baltic region and other European regions,” declared Paet.
Security questions, including cyber security and cooperation in NATO were also discussed. Spain is one of the founding members of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence (CCD COE) and two Spanish experts are currently working at the centre. “We would like to strengthen cooperation with Spain in the NATO CCD COE even more,” added Paet. “Also, we consider the continuation of regular and substantial collective defence exercises to be extremely important for the future of NATO and retention of the allies’ cooperative capabilities,” said Paet. Steadfast Jazz, a NATO exercise that begins on 2 November, is the largest and most important collective NATO defence exercise since Estonia joined NATO.
According to Foreign Minister Paet, Estonia highly values Spain’s contribution to ensuring Baltic air defence. Spain participated in NATO’s Baltic air policing mission in 2006 and plans to do so in the future as well.
When discussing Syria, Foreign Minister Paet stressed that the most important question is still to find a solution to ending the Syrian civil war. “The number of casualties and refugees is constantly increasing and the approaching winter will make the already poor humanitarian situation even worse,” said Foreign Minister Paet. The Estonian and Spanish foreign ministers stressed the need for rapid and complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. Estonia is supporting the activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with 50,000 Euros.
Paet and García-Margallo also spoke about the upcoming high-level meeting about the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius and the possibilities of supporting each others’ candidacies in international organisations.