The Estonian American National Council (EANC) met with Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna last Friday, November 3, to voice Estonian American concerns over the planned closures of the Estonian Consulates General in both New York and San Francisco.
During the face-to-face virtual meeting, EANC raised key points such as the need to adequately account for the economic benefits the consulates provide (not only their costs), and the importance of maintaining broad American support for Estonia, as its major security partner. EANC also offered several alternatives for reducing consulate costs, while maintaining their presence in New York and San Francisco.
During the meeting with the foreign minister, EANC emphasized how this issue has galvanized Estonian Americans as almost no other issue has, evidenced by the petitions and letters on both the East and West Coasts and the spirited participation in the EANC-sponsored TownHall on October 24, where participants from across the US shared the impacts of the closures.
EANC continues to take action on this issue, including statements to the press and letters to the Estonian government and prime minister. The November 8 issue of “Postimees” newspaper in Estonia carries EANC’s full-page advertisement asking for reconsideration of the closure decision. We are pleased that EANC has been invited to present our concerns and suggestions to parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee next week.
With your support, we will continue to maintain a unified voice on this issue, emphasizing the importance of the consulates not only to Estonian Americans but to the Republic of Estonia. We continue to invite statements of impact as to how the closures of the Consulates will affect you. Statements can be sent to [email protected], or [email protected].