Brief statement by King Willem-Alexander after his meeting with President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, Tallinn

I’d like to start by thanking President Kaljulaid for the invitation and for her kind words.

I have looked forward to returning to Estonia, now 16 years after my wife and I first visited in 2002. A century ago, the Estonians proclaimed their independence. I’m grateful to be here at this special time. Madam President, your invitation has given me the opportunity to congratulate you in person.

The Netherlands feels a close bond with this free, independent and innovative country.

Much of Estonia’s history has been bleak. For a long time, it was in the grip of oppression and violence. So we admire all the more how the people of this country found the strength to regain their freedom and make their country flourish again. In several ways, Estonia even leads the way in Europe. I know it’s been said before, but its digital accomplishments are ‘Just Estonishing’.

We’re delighted by the close cooperation between our countries, in the European Union and in NATO. Today’s world is an uncertain place. That’s why we need to band together and support each other as like-minded countries. In this way, we show that our freedom is a core value that we will never give up.

My visit is more than just a show of solidarity. By combining our strengths we can boost each other’s prosperity and sustainability in so many ways.

I already mentioned the digital society, but I’m also thinking of agricultural innovation. These are fields in which we’re natural partners.

I look forward to strengthening our friendship and deepening our cooperation during this visit.

Thank you.