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Estonia President Visits NATO Headquarters

3/19/2013 4:18 AM ET

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves to NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, praising the European Union member-nation's commitment to the Alliance's collective security and its operations.

A NATO press release issued after the visit said Rasmussen thanked Ilves for Estonia's contribution to the mission in Afghanistan, and described the EU state as an "exemplary ally" of the Western military alliance.

"Your troops are serving shoulder to shoulder with their NATO colleagues in one of the toughest parts of Afghanistan. They perform their duties with great courage and great skill," he told the visiting Estonian President.

Incidentally, Estonia hosts the Alliance's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn. This center allows Allies to share experience and best practices and helps participants to improve their security.

"Estonia is leading the way in cyber security, a vital part of modern capabilities. This is defense for the future" Rasmussen noted.

Stressing that Estonia's commitment to collective security is also reflected by the fact that it spends two percent of its economic output on defense, the NATO chief added: "In tough economic times such as this, that shows real commitment and real dedication."

by RTT Staff Writer

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