The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets visited Rome shortly after Italy’s victory in the European football championships, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Italy. Liimets also visited the Vatican and met his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, together with the president of the Italian Senate, Maria Elisabetta Casellati.
During the two-day visit, which ended last Wednesday, the Minister had a meeting with the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Richard Gallagher, in which the centenary of the diplomatic relations of Estonia with the Holy See, established during the pontificate of Benedict XV. Liimets then underlined Estonia’s ambition to actively contribute to global peace and security as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council.
Conversely, the talks with Luigi Di Maio and Elisabetta Casellati concerned bilateral relations, current EU and NATO affairs, transatlantic relations, developments regarding Russia and Belarus, as well as migration issues. “I touched on the concerning developments on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, which also need the attention of the EU as a whole” Minister Liimets said in a statement.
Relations between Estonia and Italy are close in many areas, ranging from security and defense cooperation to cultural cooperation and economic relations, and there is also interest in digital and cyber cooperation. Italy is currently contributing to the Baltic Air Policing mission in Ämari, while Estonia is participating in the joint operation Frontex Themis in Italy – an EU agency based in Warsaw, Poland, in charge of border control of the Schengen area – in the context of migration and police cooperation efforts.