Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: we recognize Iceland’s courage in being first to recognize Estonian independence


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Iceland Day, observed on August 21, is an opportunity to thank that country for its bravery it displayed in 1991 when it became the first to recognize Estonia’s newly regained independence.

"Iceland recognized Estonia as newly independent already on 22 August and on 26 August, Estonian and Iceland restored diplomatic relations. Less than a month later, Estonia became a member of the United Nations," said the Estonian Foreign Minister.

According to Paet, Estonia and Iceland, although geographically disparate, are united by more than initial appearances might suggest. “Both countries have lived under the rule of larger neighbours yet have managed to preserve a rich and distinctive culture. Today in Tallinn, everyone has an extraordinary opportunity to see, hear and taste everything Iceland’s music, art scene and cuisine have to offer. This will bring Estonia and Iceland even closer to each other,“ he said.

Paet added that Estonia had a chance to support Iceland on its road to the European Union, as Iceland’s accession talks began a month ago. “Estonia is prepared to provide all facets of assistance to Iceland and hopefully the European Union will undergo enlargement in Northern Europe as well.”

Paet and Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson are attending a concert featuring Icelandic music on Tallinn’s rooftop cinema. They will also visit an Icelandic food market on Iceland Square (Islandi väljak) and Sfäär restaurant for the opening of an exhibition of nature photographs by Pal Stefansson. Skarphéðinsson will also open an exhibition at the Rahva Raamat bookstore in the Viru Keskus shopping centre.

Iceland Day is taking place all over Tallinn, in various courtyards and concert venues and on Iceland Square, featuring over ten musical groups from the island nation, Iceland-themed exhibitions and a food market. For more information:

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