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Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Official visit by the President of the Republic of Poland and his Spouse to the Republic of Estonia

On 5 July 2005, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski departed for a two-day visit to the Republic of Estonia.
On arrival, President of the Republic of Poland and the First Lady took part in the official welcoming ceremony. Following the ceremony, the President held a meeting with the President of the Republic Estonia Arnold Rüütel. Next, plenary talks were held co-chaired by the President of the Republic of Poland and the President of the Republic of Estonia.

Next, both Presidents met journalists:
Statement by the President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, first of all I wish to say that I am greatly pleased to have this opportunity to pay an official visit to Estonia. It attests the excellent relations Poland and Estonia enjoy. Over the past sixteen years we managed to achieve more than we could have hoped for at the turning point in time back in 89/90. Both our countries are sovereign, independent; we are fellow-members of the European Union, we are side-by-side in NATO, we both have good prospects for the future. Poland and Estonia are bound by shared interests and common problems and I am confident that Polish-Estonian cooperation shall serve to build both our position in the Baltic Sea region and in the European Union as well as with our neighbors that remain outside the Community structures – foremost in our relations with the Russian Federation. President Rüütel outlined the spectrum of issues we addressed in our talks. I believe we should enhance our cooperation in the investment domain, especially within the scope of infrastructural projects. We should also develop cultural cooperation and collaborate closely on key European Union issues; I have here in mind both institutional reforms as well as budget. And I want to say that I am very pleased to see that that first year of our joint presence in the EU made for great progress as regards our trade exchange – we recorded an  impressive growth of 33% and 35% in Polish-Estonian and Estonian-Polish trade flows respectively. We are pleased with the figures. We have managed to accomplish much, these were groundbreaking years and now we want to continue this very beneficial Polish-Estonian cooperation.  My second term in office if drawing to a close, the ten years of my presidency, but I am convinced that whoever my successor might be, whatever government is formed after the autumn elections this year, Polish-Estonian affairs, this Polish-Estonian dialogue will be carried on as before, sustained by frequent and fruitful contacts. Thank you for your attention. 
At midday, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski attended a working luncheon given by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia Andrus Ansip.
At the end of the first day of the visit, President of the Republic of Poland and the First Lady attended a dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Estonia Arnold Rüütel and Ingrid Rüütel in honor of the Guests. 
On 6 July 2005, on the second day of their visit to the Republic of Estonia, President of the Republic of Poland and the First Lady visited General J. Laidoner Museum where they were shown an exhibition charting the history of Kaitzeliit (Territorial Defense Forces) and of Rifle Association. The Presidential Couple also met at the museum representatives of the Polish expatriate community.
Distinction presentation ceremony was held during the visit to the Museum. President Aleksander Kwaśniewski presented 20 Estonians citizens with distinctions for their commitment to and promotion of Polish-Estonian cooperation.  
 
Addressing the awarded persons, the President said: “We thank you for all that you have already done to bring our countries and peoples closer together”. The President also stressed that honoring Estonian citizens with high Polish distinctions demonstrates that our collaboration is fast developing and encompasses ever new domains. The President also emphasized that friendship between nations is always sustained by goodwill and fellow feeling. Poland and Poles have always found among Estonians true and tried friends.
 
President of the Republic of Poland also bestowed the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland upon French Bishop Philippe Jourdan, Estonian Apostolic Administrator, who attends to the needs of the Polish minority in Estonia.  
Next, a ceremony was held of signing an Agreement of Cooperation between the Warsaw Polish Army Museum and General J. Laidoner Museum in Tallinn.
In the afternoon, President of Republic of Poland and the First Lady concluded their two-day official visit to the Republic of Estonia.
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