Mark Pekala, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state on European and Eurasian affairs, has said the United States considers it important for Estonian citizens to be able to travel to the United States without a visa in the future. The United States wishes very much that the Estonian people are able to travel to the United States without a visa, Pekala said. The United States understands that the matter is important emotionally and psychologically, and is of importance also in bilateral relations, said Pekala. Estonia has an action plan for acceding to the visa waiver program, and as long as Estonia is working to fulfill these requirements the United States will try and make issuance of visas to people in Estonia as simple as possible, he said. Pekala had meetings during his visit to Estonia with President Arnold Ruutel, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, members of the government, managers of Enterprise Estonia and MPs. Pekala, whose area of responsibility at the State Department is the Nordic Countries, Baltic states and central Europe, was deputy chief of the US embassy in Estonia from 2002-2005.