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Sweden pledges support to Baltic states

(Xinhua)

08:53, August 16, 2011

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt Monday pledged support to Baltic countries in a grand gathering in Stockholm to celebrate the 20th independence anniversary of three Baltic countries.

"The independence of Baltic countries 20 years ago made possible exchange of personnel, education, tourism and many other opportunities between the two sides," said Reinfeldt, looking forward to enhanced cooperation between Sweden and Baltic countries in the future.

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip all spoke at the celebration in Norrmalm Square in central Stockholm where about a thousand people gathered. They thanked Sweden for its help during and after their independence.

The event was marked by a flag hoisting ceremony at the Swedish parliament and performances by dance troupes, choirs and poets.

The celebrations were part of a decision taken last year to deepen cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries. Sweden has been actively involved in economic, political and cultural exchanges with Baltic states.

A seminar on economic cooperation between the two sides will be held in Stockholm in November this year.

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