Estonia president offers to help establish e-government
Written by Malek

Aoun said that Lebanon was keen to strengthen ties with Estonia in various sectors, but especially in areas related to technology. He added that Lebanon was seeking to establish a joint group for the two countries to activate trade and increase Lebanon’s exports to Estonian markets. Kaljulaid, at Baabda Palace, was thanked by Aoun for her country’s contribution to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.

Following her meeting with Aoun, Kaljulaid met with Hariri at his Downtown Beirut residence where she reiterated that her country was prepared to offer Lebanon assistance in the digital sector. Their discussion also covered regional developments and bilateral relations between Lebanon and Estonia. “We can cooperate in wider sectors in the future,” Hariri told Kaljulaid, adding that Lebanon was seeking assistance from Estonia to promote e-government projects. “We understand you have done a lot in e-government and this is something we would like to implement in our country, so hopefully we can work together to do that,” Hariri said in a statement following the meeting.

Hariri also thanked Kaljulaid for her country’s support in UNIFIL, to which she responded, “Estonia is very proud that in 2016 it was the fourth biggest per capita contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping missions.” The Estonian president arrived in Beirut Thursday for a three-day visit that included a trip to south Lebanon to meet an Estonian battalion deployed with UNIFIL force commander Maj. Gen. Michael Beary at the base in Naqoura. The Estonian battalion, made up of around 40 peacekeepers, serves as part of the over-10,000-strong military force from 39 countries. Later Friday, Kaljulaid also met with Berri. The Parliament leader commended Estonia for taking over the presidency of the European Union Council and noted that the president’s visit would help Estonia gain an overview of the regional situation before assuming the EU presidency from July.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2017, on page 3.