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President Ilves meets British Prime Minister David Cameron


President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who has arrived at the London Conference on Cyberspace, met British Prime Minister David Cameron today.

The British head of government acknowledged Estonia’s leading role in the field of online government services and cyber defence.

For his part, Ilves emphasized the critical importance of close international cooperation on cyberspace as well as domestic joint efforts between governments and private sector.

“We are well aware of cases where a state and private contractors have launched joint cyber attacks against another country,” said Ilves. “We, too, must tear down dividing walls so that together we can resist such malice. When it comes to cyber cooperation in the Nordic and Baltic area, naturally we see Great Britain as a strong and wise partner – both in adopting e-solutions and combating cyber threats.”

President Ilves and Prime Minister Cameron said that the financial and economic crisis affecting some of the countries in the euro area leaves not only the monetary union vulnerable, but all of the European Union and its partners elsewhere.

“There is no time now for populist rhetoric or evading the course that must be taken,” said Ilves. “We need responsibility in all of our decisions, whether on economic, domestic or foreign policy.”

The Estonian head of state and the British prime minister expressed dismay over the Greek prime minister’s recent decision to call a referendum on the EU’s second aid package, which was intended to help Greece’s crumbling economy back on its feet. Ilves and Cameron said the referendum will not help the European economy or ease the debt crisis.

President Ilves pledged to ensure Estonia remains securely in the ranks of countries that wish to seek a solution to the current problems. The Estonian head of state also raised the issue of the inequality of agricultural subsidies on the European Union’s internal market, where the prices of inputs are equal for all but where some member states enjoy subsidies many times higher than others.

“Estonia understands very well the importance of qualities such as collegiality and concerted action, and this gives us the right to expect the same kind of attitude from the European Union toward Estonia. The huge disparity in agricultural subsidies is galling, unjust and flouts the principles of the European Union,” said Ilves.

President Ilves invited Prime Minister Cameron to Estonia on a visit.


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