Iceland was the first country to recognize the regaining of our independence in 1991 and is again standing with us on the front line to digitally transform the Nordic countries, President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid said when meeting the president of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson.
“Iceland holds a very dear place in the heart of the Estonian people. Everyone who is older than 3 years in Estonia knows that Iceland was the first country to recognise the regaining of our independence in 1991 and so helped to return us among other independent nations, President Kersti Kaljulaid said, and added that it is very important to know that you have a country on your side, which was ready to risk its own reputation to support you.
Heads of state also discussed digital cooperation and how to bring in the Nordic Circle countries. „Probably not a lot of people know that in June Iceland`s X-road will be ready to operate, which means that in addition to Estonia and Finland also Iceland is now on the same digital platform. This will open unlimited perspective to our digital cooperation. Yet as we agreed we should not stop there. We need to have all the Nordic circle countries connected to a single digital identity or at least have the ability to recognize digitally our digital signatures. We will strive to cooperate in this sphere and we are developing from e-Estonia to e-Nordic,” president Kaljulaid explained.
The presidents also discussed public health issues and the impact of sports. Iceland has been able to achieve remarkable results in this field thanks to a systematic and comprehensive approach that has involved all Icelandic people. According to president Kaljulaid, this field is very important for Estonia and there is a room for learning and cooperation. The presidents also touched upon cultural cooperation with a focus on music where interaction between Iceland and Estonia is very intense.
When talking about security president Kaljulaid emphasized that she is very grateful to Iceland for the participation of their strategic communications expert among NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). „I warmly invite you to also join the NATO Centre of Excellence in Cyber Defence. If we want to have our civil society cyber hygienic, we need to learn also the cyber defence for our countries,” president Kaljulaid explained.
President of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson and Mrs. Eliza Reid are on the official visit to Estonia. Tonight they will join President of Estonia for a charity concert “Songs for the soldiers”. Tomorrow at the invitation of President Kaljulaid six European heads of state will arrive in Tartu to celebrate Estonia’s 100th anniversary. In addition to President of Iceland, President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelašvili, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, President of Poland Andrzej Duda and President of Finland Sauli Niinistö will participate in the Estonia 100 celebration, which culminates with the opening of the XVIII student song- and dance festival Gaudeamus.