TALLINN – The visit of the foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament to the Gulf countries is focusing on parliamentary relations.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait, the committee's focus is on developing of parliamentary relations and business diplomacy. In Dubai, the delegation will also visit the EXPO 2020 site, Riigikogu spokespeople said.
Chairman of the foreign affairs committee Enn Eesmaa said that the aim of the visit is the development of parliamentary relations, which is part of the larger picture of bilateral relations. "With our visit, we wish to support Estonian business diplomacy and highlight the addressing of regional topics through the prism of membership of the UN Security Council," Eesmaa added.
Deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson said that the first Estonian embassy in Gulf countries would soon be officially opened in Abu Dhabi, and in Dubai, preparations are underway for the EXPO world fair, where Estonia will also participate.
"At the meetings, we wish to gain an insight into how the situation in the Gulf region is seen from the viewpoint of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait," Mihkelson said. He added that bilateral relations with Kuwait have become very active after the visit of President Kersti Kaljulaid, and the visit of the parliamentary delegation will contribute to deepening the relations.
Other members of the Estonian delegation are committee members Raimond Kaljulaid, Mihhail Lotman and Anti Poolamets.
On Sunday, the delegation was in Abu Dhabi and met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council of the UAE Saqr Ghubash and members of the Federal National Council. They also met with Assistant Minister for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar and Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
On Monday, the Estonian delegation will get an overview of the preparations for EXPO world fair in Dubai. They will have meetings with Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Reem Al Hashimy and with the representatives of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Dubai Future Foundation. The delegation will also visit the EXPO site.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the visit will continue in Kuwait, where the Estonian delegation will meet with chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Kuwait National Assembly Abdul Kareem Abdullah Al Kandar. They will also have meetings with the assistant minister for European affairs, and representatives of the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.