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President Kaljulaid discussed cooperation between the two states with her Benin colleague

President Kaljulaid discussed cooperation between the two states with her Benin colleague
Office of the President

05.12.2018

Today, President Kersti Kaljulaid, accompanied by a business delegation, has begun her official visit to Benin, making it the first official visit of an Estonian head of state to Africa.

At the meeting with Patrice Talon, President of Benin, the parties discussed the relations between the two countries, the security situation in the Sahel region, cooperation opportunities in the field of e-governance development and Estonia’s candidacy for the position of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

President of Benin Patrice Talon visited Estonia two years ago and since then the contacts between the two states have remained close. During that visit, the foreign ministries of the two countries forged a cooperation memorandum on political consultations. “This is an important step towards regular discussions of the mutual relations between our states and the wider situation in the region, along with cooperation in the African Union, the European Union and the UN,” said President Kaljulaid.

The meeting participants focused on the issues of e-governance development. Benin’s ambition is to become one of Africa’s most digital societies. According to President Kaljulaid, it is imperative to remember that it is no longer a question of establishing contacts with Benin or determining common intentions: we have reached the stage of entry into precise agreements. In the course of the visit, the e-Governance Academy and Cybernetica will enter into an agreement for X-road development in Benin and the creation of the GoSwift border queue management system.

The heads of the two states also discussed the security situation in the Sahel region. Both Estonia and Benin have committed military personnel to the missions in Mali. At the conference after the meeting, President Kaljulaid emphasised the importance of constant adherence to democratic values, freedom of speech and media, as well as the basics of a constitutional state, because only in this manner can a country achieve and maintain success in the long-term. The head of the Estonian state also thanked her Benin colleague for supporting Estonia’s candidacy for the position of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-21.

Today and tomorrow, the President of the Republic is on the official visit to Benin, proceeding to Senegal on a working visit on Friday. The head of state is accompanied by Mart Nutt, member of the Riigikogu, and an Estonian business delegation.

Office of the President
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