US president to discuss NATO topics at meetings in Estonia

TALLINN, Nov 23, BNS – US President George W. Bush is going to discuss NATO issues at his meetings with Estonian leaders next week.

A summit of the North Atlantic alliance will take place in the Latvian capital next week and the issues on its agenda will come under discussion also with the US president in Estonia, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told reporters today.

In Ansip’s words, unproportionally much attention has been paid in Estonia to technical complications arising from Bush’s visit such as traffic snarls which have completely overshadowed matters of substance.

The visit by the US president is high recognition for Estonia, the premier said. The United States never recognized the Soviet occupation and annexation of Estonia which has allowed independent statehood to be restored without a breach of legal continuity, he pointed out.

The United States played a big role in the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia in 1994 and in this country’s admission to NATO, Ansip added.

Bush is scheduled to arrive in Tallinn late next Monday and depart for the neighboring Latvia on Tuesday afternoon. The president is to meet in Tallinn with the Estonian head of state, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Ansip.