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President Ilves congratulates Austrian president elect Alexander Van der Bellen


"I wholeheartedly wish you the very best of luck and strength. You will take office at a time when our common Europe faces many challenges, which can be successfully solved only through the steadfast co-operation of all European leaders. In this, Estonia sees Austria as an important partner. I believe that the relations between our countries will become closer during your tenure," said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in his message to Austria's new head of state Alexander Van der Bellen.

"We are connected by Europe and all its current worries and hopes," President Ilves noted and stressed: "However, we are also connected by Estonia on a very personal level. It is unusual that there are two states in Europe where the parents of both presidents were Estonian citizens and – fleeing war and violence – found a new home abroad. I hope that you can visit the Kihelkonna parish in Saaremaa, where your parents were married in 1931, as well as the house at Koidu street in Tallinn where they lived a few years later."

President Ilves said he would be happy to welcome his Austrian counterpart to Estonia soon.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department