Clinton and Paet stress collective defense

  • 2009-09-18
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with MFA Estonia

Secretary Clinton and Urmas Paet discussed security cooperation Photo courtesy US Dept of State

WASHINGTOND.C.-Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, meeting with Secretary of State of the UnitedStates Hillary Clinton on  September 17 in Washington, stated that Estonia wouldbe ready to finishing developing the Estonia-USA joint Operational Mentor andLiaison Team (OMLT) by 2011.

Foreign Minister Paet and Secretary of State Clinton confirmed that Estonia and the USA have excellent alliedrelations, especially their long-term security co-operation.

"Estonia would like to continue this closeco-operation with the USAboth bilaterally and in NATO and other international formats. Particularly in Afghanistan,where there are co-operation opportunities in the military as well as civiliansectors," said Paet.

Clinton recognized Estonia'scontribution to stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan and also its support ofnew democracies.

"We value our relationship with Estonia. We are allies in NATO. AndI want to publicly thank Estonia for your contributions and assistance inAfghanistan, for the sacrifice and service of your troops, and for thesolidarity you have demonstrated within NATO and on a bilateral basis," saidClinton

Paet and Clinton thoroughly discussed the situation in Afghanistan following thepresidential election in August.

"It is clear that expecting quick results in Afghanistan is unrealistic, sowe must remain persistent in our military and civilian activities'sin the waragainst terrorism, it is more effective to deal with the root of the threat,rather than watch the consequences in Europe, the United States, and all overthe world," said Paet.

 "Our common goal is to reach thepoint where Afghans can manage to hold up their own state and security," he continued.

In speaking about further co-operation trends and developments in NATO, Paetand Clinton noted that the basis for NATO's work is collective defence, and thebackbone of the organisation's new strategic concept must be NATO's visibility,trustworthiness, and the clear presentation of its abilities. "One essentialfactor is responding to new threats, including threats in the realm of cybersecurity'swe should increase international co-operation in the cyber securitysector," Paet asserted. Secretary of State Clinton noted that the NATO CyberDefence Centre in Tallinnis one example of such co-operation. Clinton and Paet also consider the furtherexpansion of NATO to be important.

Clinton and Paet also emphasised the need to develop the European Union'senergy security through diversifying energy channels. "For Estonia and theother Baltic nations, diversifying energy connections with other European Unionregions is a vital component of energy security," Paet emphasised.

"Although Estonia has activecommunication and multi-faceted co-operation with the United States,particularly in the defense co-operation and security sectors, there iscertainly still room for development in the economic realm, where increasingthe number of close contacts and reciprocal investments would be very welcome,"Paet said.

 "We would liketo co-operate, for example, in the area of oil shale technology, in which Estonia haslong-time experience and expertise," he added.