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PM thanks Spain for contribution to Estonia's defense
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    PM thanks Spain for contribution to Estonia's defense

    TALLINN, Jul 17, BNS - Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on Monday thanked his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, who made a brief visit to the Amari air base to meet with the Spanish air force personnel stationed there, for Spain's contribution to the defense of Estonia and thus the whole of NATO. 

    "Spain is a strong contributor to the defense of the Baltic states," Ratas said according to spokespeople.

    "Estonia, in its turn, contributes troops and participates in civil missions in the southern neighborhood of Europe. Instability in the southern neighborhood of Europe, including extremism, influences the whole of Europe. In defense cooperation, solidarity and relying on the strengths of each other are invaluable," he said.

    From May to August of this year, four Spanish F-18 fighter jets are stationed at the Amari air base as part of NATO's Baltic air policing mission. Besides, 350 Spanish troops serve in Latvia.

    Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik, who met his Spanish colleague Maria Dolores de Cospedal as part of the same visit by a Spanish delegation there, described Spain's participation in ensuring the security of the Baltic Sea, both through air policing in Estonia and the enhanced presence of allies in Latvia, as a strong sign of solidarity.

    "Spain also participates in the work of the NATO cyber defense center in Tallinn. And we consider it important to contribute to the security of the countries of southern Europe, where we have just increased Estonia's participation in the EU's Mediterranean operation SOPHIA," Luik said.

    At the meeting, the Estonian prime minister and defense minister confirmed that the security of Europe, including the fight against terrorism, is one of the most important topics of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union. The work to make information exchanges between the member states more effective in this sphere continues, and solutions are being sought to support countries facing the return of foreign fighters.

    Solving the migration crisis is also an important issue for the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union. Spain has rescued around a hundred people on the Mediterranean and near the Canary Islands recently and is actively participating in combating human trafficking and strengthening border control. "Spain has successfully cooperated with third countries, for example, by concluding agreements with African countries. Their experience should certainly be made use of," Ratas said.

    From Estonia, the Spanish delegation went on to Latvia to visit the Spanish troops serving there.

    Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8814, sise@bns.ee

    Baltic News Service

    • Published: 17.07.2017 17:07
    • LETA, BNS
    •  
    • ¬© The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.