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News, 7/25/2011

Norway’s events cast shadow over Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Tallinn

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet have expressed their condolences over the acts of terror in Norway. “The events are a tragedy for Norway, but also for all friends of Norway. Finland and Estonia share their grief with Norway,” the ministers said. “The bomb attack in Oslo and the shootings at the youth camp on the island of Utøya are horrific crimes for which there can be no justification.”

Finland and Estonia share their grief with Norway, said Ministers Tuomioja and Paet. Photo: Pilt Terje Lepp/EPL.Finland and Estonia share their grief with Norway, said Ministers Tuomioja and Paet. Photo: Pilt Terje Lepp/EPL

Erkki Tuomioja met Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Tallinn on Saturday, 23 July. This was Tuomioja’s first visit to Estonia as Foreign Minister of the new Finnish Government. After a working lunch the ministers held a press conference which attracted a large attendance because of the events in Norway. On the table were placed Finnish and Estonian flags with black mourning bands.

“What happened in Norway can happen anywhere,” Tuomioja pointed out. “It’s clear that the Nordic countries unfortunately are no safe haven where things like this can’t happen. For this reason it’s important for all of us to work together to improve our internal security.”

At their meeting the Foreign Ministers discussed ways of improving cooperation between Finland and Estonia. They observed that the two countries have a special relationship that allows for efficient cross-border exchange in different sectors. Foreign Minister Paet wanted to see the two countries work more closely in security and defence policy, including cyber defence.

On Friday 22 July, Foreign Minister Tuomioja attended celebrations in honour of his grandmother Hella Wuolijoki (1886-1954) in the southern Estonian municipality of Karksi. The local cultural festival Nava Lava staged a play portraying Wuolijoki’s youth called “The Small Persistent Woman”.

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Updated 7/26/2011

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