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Estonia: Australia to open its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn

TALLINN - Australia is to open its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn, in which the ambassador will work for a limited amount of time during the year.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop agreed on opening the embassy at a meeting held in New York on Wednesday, spokespeople for the Foreign Ministry said.

"We are glad that Australia has decided to open its first so-called pop-up embassy in Tallinn, which undoubtedly will increase Australia's visibility in Estonia and more widely in our region," Mikser said in a press release. "An ambassador starting work in the pop-up embassy will create new possibilities for the already constructive and close cooperation of our two countries," the Estonian minister said.

Mikser said that the experimental pop-up embassy may become a pilot project not only for Australia. "We hope that the positive example of Australia in the form of an innovative pop-up embassy can encourage other countries as well to promote a similar form of cooperation in Estonia," he said.

A pop-up embassy is a country's representation, in which an ambassador does not work on a daily basis, but is present for a short term on the basis of need. According to Australian media, the ambassador will work in Tallinn for two months per year, while for the rest of the time, Australia will have a "virtual presence" in Estonia.

Diplomat Kerin Ayyalaraju was appointed Australia's ambassador to Estonia, the website news.com.au reported.

In addition, the foreign ministers at the meeting also discussed cooperation between Estonia and Australia and trade relations between the European Union and Australia. The ministers at the meeting reaffirmed good relations between the two countries, highlighting increased cooperation in the field of cyber security. Speaking about trade relations between the EU and Australia, Mikser said that Estonia supports establishing a free trade agreement with Australia.

The Estonian embassy in Canberra was opened in February 2015. Ambassador Andres Unga presented his credentials to former Governor-General Quentin Bryce on March 28, 2013. Unga is also accredited to New Zealand. He started work in Canberra on August 1, 2015. Estonia also has five honorary consuls in Australia.

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