TALLINN, Estonia — Concluding a week-long outreach effort in the Baltic states to establish close relationships with the leadership of NATO member countries, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Navy Adm. James Stavridis visited Estonia 14-15 July.
He met with Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Andrus Ansip, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia Mr. Sven Mikser, Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Defense Mr. Lauri Tumm, and the Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Ants Laaneots. The leaders discussed current operational issues and shared views on how to take the Alliance forward.
Stavridis congratulated Estonia for the part it is playing in Afghanistan.
"I feel it very important to come here to say thank you for the tremendous contributions Estonia has made to NATO operations. In particular, for the contributions of the troops in the fight in Helmand Province, Afghanistan," Stavridis said. This is key to our success strategy, by teaming with the Afghans we will develop their capabilities and gradually transition the security responsibility for Afghanistan to national security forces that can protect the population and safeguard their nation."
Stavridis also said he is grateful for Estonias efforts in ensuring regional security.
"I also appreciate the Estonian contributions to collective Alliance security by contributing to the NATO Response Force and hosting many exercises in the Baltic region that enhance interoperability among various allies," he added. "Article 5 is and remains the bedrock of our Alliance."