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Around 50 EU ministers to arrive in Tallinn by Thursday

TALLINN - About 50 government members of European Union member states plus ministers from a dozen or so neighboring countries are set to arrive in Tallinn for an informal meeting of EU defense ministers and foreign ministers taking place on Thursday and Friday.

In addition to EU ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and ministers from EU candidate countries and countries of the Eastern Partnership will attend the Tallinn meeting held as part of the Estonian presidency of the EU Council.

"Not everyone has confirmed their attendance yet and documents are being updated on an ongoing basis," a spokesperson for the Estonian Foreign Ministry told BNS on Wednesday.

According to information received from the organizing committee of the Estonian presidency of the EU at noon on Wednesday, the Tallinn meeting will be attended by Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Minister of Defense and Sports Hans Peter Doskozil; Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and Defense Minister Steven Vandeput; Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov; Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric and Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic; Cypriot Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides; Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Sramek and Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky; Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen; Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders; Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto; French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly; German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Kotzias and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos; Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Defense Minister Istvan Simicsko; Irish Foreign Minister Simon Carbery Coveney and Defense Minister Paul Kehoe; Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and the Foreign Ministry's vice secreary general Vincenzo Amendola; Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis; Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius and Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis; Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn; Maltese Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela and Minister for Internal Affairs and Security Michael Farrugia; Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz; Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva and Defense Minister Jose Azeredo Lopes; Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor-Viorel Melescanu and Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu; Slovakian Defense Minister Peter Gajdos and state secretary of the Foreign Ministry Ivan Korcok; Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Viktor Erjavec and Defense Minister Andreja Katic; Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis and Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal; Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist; and the UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Earl Howe.

Countries of the EU Eastern Partnership will be represented by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Belarusisn Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Kravchenko, Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Galbur and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

Of EU candidate countries, Albania is to send Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, Macedonia its Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Montenegro its Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic, Serbia its Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic and Turkey its Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Estonia will be represented at the meeting by Defense Minister Juri Luik and Foreign Minister Sven Mikser.

The other EU commissioners attending the Tallinn meeting besides Mogherini are Jyrki Katainen, Commission vice-president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness; Johannes Hahn, commissioner on European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations; and Elzbieta Bienkowska, commissioner on internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SME.

Also to take part in the meetings are Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations; Jorge Domecq, director of the European Defense Agency; Leonardo Schiavo, director-general of the secretariat in charge of the Foreign Affairs Council; Esa Pulkkinen, director general of the European Union Military Staff, as well as other high ranking EU officials.

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