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Lennart MERI Former President, Republic of Estonia, Tallinn


1953 graduated from the Faculty of History and Languages of Tartu University worked as dramatist and producer of radio plays in the Estonian broadcasting 1958 wrote his first book after trip to Central Asia and old Islamic centrs in the Kara-Kum Desert many books and films on more travels followed and were translated into a dozen languages significantly contributed to the preservation of the Estonian national identity; first to take protest abroad against Soviet plan of mining phosphate in Estonia (later: the "Singing Revolution") 1988 founded non-governmental Estonian Institute to promote cultural contacts with the West & send Estonian students to study abroad 1990 appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs after the first non-communist elections participated in the CSCE Conferences in Copenhagen, New York,