President Barack Obama came to visit Estonia on 3 September and reaffirmed the American security commitment. Estonian World picked five of the most remarkable quotes Obama said in Tallinn.
From the security context, one of the most important events for Estonia in 2014 was the promise given by the US to defend the country according to the NATO collective defence article. President Barack Obama came to visit Estonia on 3 September and reaffirmed the American commitment in a much-anticipated public speech. Estonian World picked five of the most remarkable quotes Obama said in Tallinn.
1. “The defence of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defence of Berlin and Paris and London.”
2. “We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania. You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you will never lose it again.”
3. “Estonia is one of the great success stories among the nations that reclaimed their independence after the Cold War. You’ve built a vibrant democracy and new prosperity, and you’ve become a model for how citizens can interact with their government in the 21st century, something President Ilves has championed. With their digital IDs, Estonians can use their smart phones to get just about anything done online – from their children’s grades to their health records. I should have called the Estonians when we were setting up our health-care website.”
4. “Here in Estonia, we see the success of free markets, integration with Europe, taking on tough reforms. You’ve become one of the most wired countries on Earth, a global leader in e-government and high-tech start-ups. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Estonian people has been unleashed. And your innovations, like Skype, are transforming the world.”
5. “I want to commend Estonia for being such a strong leader beyond NATO. Whether it’s contributing forces to the EU mission in the Central African Republic or supporting relief efforts for the Syrian people, helping nations like Tunisia in their own transition to democracy or standing up for Internet freedom and human rights, this nation of 1.3 million people, as we say, truly punches above its weight. The world is better for it, and it’s yet another reason why the United States will always be proud to stand with our ally, Estonia.”
Cover: Barack Obama delivering his speech at Nordea Concert Hall in Tallinn, Estonia on 3 September 2014. Credit: Rauno Volmar/Delfi.