TALLINN - Foreign Minister Urmas Paet promised that Estonia will increase its presence in Afghanistan during a recent trip to London. Paet met with his British counterpart, David Miliband, on a trip to London and both men pledged to increase their respective countries' presence in the country.
The British foreign minister also wished Estonia well on the 90th anniversary of its declaration of independence.
They said that the United Kingdom and Estonia will continue in to work together to ensure stability and security and to help to rebuild the country.
Apart from logistic support, Paet said that Estonia would also increase the amount of money it spends in the region.
"Today an Estonian expert in health care will arrive in Hellmand, tasked with developing the health care system and co-ordinating international medical aid," he said.
The minister added that, in addition to the Estonian contribution, an increased contribution to the buildup of Afghanistani infrastructure was required from the United Nations and the European Union, whose contribution was significant but not sufficient.
Paet stressed that the European Union contribution to the build up in Afghanistan was not enough at the moment.
"The European Union will not be a serious partner for Afghanistan as long as we [fail to] prove this on the highest political level," Paet said.
Paet argued that the role of the EU police mission could be larger than planned, especially given that the Afghanistan police force was in dire need of help.
Estonia has take the led in pushing the EU to get more involved in rebuilding Afghanistan. Meetings of representatives of countries present in Afghanistan are now part of the agenda at Council of Ministers meetings.
Paet also expressed support for the enlargement of NATO. The ministers were unanimous in their assertions that decisions concerning NATO enlargement will have to be made in Bucharest.