At a video conference today, the new Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives Gregory Meeks and the Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of the Baltic States discussed opportunities for future cooperation and emphasised the importance of protecting democracy in the world.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Enn Eesmaa underlined that Estonia highly appreciated the consistent support the United States had shown for decades, and their policy in ensuring the security of the Baltic States. He expressed thanks to the US Congress for adopting the budget package for the security of the Baltic region and asserted that Estonia took its security cooperation commitments very seriously. “The United States are a key ally for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We hope to have close ties and cooperation with our colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic also in the future,” he said.
The Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee assured that the Baltic States were an important partner for the United States. Meeks said that he had been following the politics and achievements of the Baltic States, and he considered them remarkable. The relations between the European Union and the USA, NATO’s partner relations and cyber security were also discussed at the meeting.
Eesmaa pointed out that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had been actively supporting the democratic changes in Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia. “The Eastern partners need our common support. The welfare of these countries is particularly close to our heart and of critical importance to European security,” the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu said.
Eesmaa also proposed his colleagues to initiate a US-Baltic parliamentary supervision programme in support of democracy and civil society in Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia. The programme would include parliamentary hearings and meetings, with the aim of supporting the strengthening of democratic societies. The Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees agreed that protection of democracy and human rights was an important cooperation opportunity for the Baltics and the United States.
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