TALLINN 's Prime Minister Juhan Parts on Friday nominated Rein Lang for the post of foreign minister, saying that the Reform Party member had the potential to explain the foreign policy.
"Foreign policy needs to be explained to people, in this regard Lang has more potential than the dismissed foreign minister," Parts said on a Kanal 2 talk show on Thursday in reference to the former minister, Kristiina Ojuland, whom he sacked last week.
Parts will hand his nomination to President Arnold Ruutel on Sunday, the governmental press service said. He said in a statement that, if confirmed, Lang faced great challenges as foreign minister, since accession to the European Union and NATO had not diminished but increased the importance of the country's foreign policy.
"Estonia's foreign policy must be consistent, purposeful and realistic," Parts added.
The prime minister met with Lang on Thursday to dispel doubts about the candidate's tendency to make emotional remarks. As Parts said, a foreign minister cannot afford to make emotional statements. "To my mind, Lang has realized that he cannot say anything that occurs to him in every situation."
Lang told TV3 television news that it had not been his duty to persuade the prime minister that he was the right person for the job, saying it was the party's obligation to do that for him. "We talked about what men usually discuss among themselves. It was a constructive conversation. Among other things we talked about foreign policy, and our views are close to each other in that respect," Lang said.
He also said the two talked about recent statements at which Res Publica, Parts' party, could take offense. "I believe that in Estonian political culture it is necessary to speak about things directly, not holding an axe behind your back," Lang said.