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Today’s meeting between the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai on Toompea focused on the organisation of work in the parliaments of the two countries. 

Ergma stated that Afghanistan has long been a priority partner for Estonia in military, civil and development cooperation. “We are ready to continue our support for Afghanistan through bilateral development cooperation,” Ergma said. Within this cooperation, Estonia is ready to make a particular contribution towards sharing IT-sector experiences. Estonia will continue to be active in international security forces until the middle of the next year, ready to support the upcoming elections. Ergma expressed her hope that these will direct the life of the country on a path of stability and security. 

Karzai thanked Estonia for its help and cooperation so far. Karzai thought it important to continue international support during the transition period as well as after the departure of international security forces next year. He also stressed the importance of developing general wellbeing in the country through international cooperation, in order to restore the normal functioning of the state and the slumped economy. 

Although Estonia and Afghanistan are separated by thousands of kilometres, communication between the two countries has been active. This is confirmed by the series of visits to Afghanistan by members of the National Defence Committee as well as of the NATO PA delegation of the Riigikogu over the recent years. Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu have also visited the country and many training sessions have been organised. At the same time, representatives of the Afghan parliament, central government and Helmand Province have visited Riigikogu. Over the recent years, Estonia has also made its contribution towards training Afghan diplomats. The two most recent Riigikogus have had an active Estonia-Afghanistan Friendship Group, led by the Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma

The meeting was also attended by members of the Estonia-Afghanistan Friendship Group, Vice-Chairman of the National Defence Committee Aivar Riisalu and member of the Foreign Affaris Committee Sven Mikser

Photos of the meeting: https://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2013/Ene+Ergma/Hamid+Karzai/

The Riigikogu Press Service