Minister hopeful about visa waiver

  • 2007-07-24
  • From wire reports
TALLINN, Jul 24, BNS - Estonia's foreign minister is hopeful that visa-free travel to the United States will be a reality by the end of the year.

"Estonian citizens pose no threat to the United States and relying on the assurances of the US president, secretary of state and many senators and congressmen I hope the start of visa-free travel from Estonia to the United States is a matter of months rather than years," Urmas Paet said in an opinion piece in the July 24 edition of the newspaper Postimees.

The main areas to focus on in Estonian-US relations are security cooperation and the free movement of ideas, capital and people, the foreign minister says.

"Consequently, we regard visa-free movement between the United States and all European Union member countries including Estonia as highly important," Paet states.

Earlier this month the question of a visa waiver arrangement was raised in meetings with a visiting delegation of U.S. congressmen by both President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Paet.

Ilves also raised the matter during his June meeting with President George W. Bush.