On 3 and 4 August 2022, during his official visit to Australia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Richard Marles, the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, and representatives of the Pacific Island Countries residing in Canberra.
We welcome Australia’s firm stance concerning Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and sanctions applied till now, the Foreign Minister said in a conversation with Richard Marles. In the current geopolitical situation, democratic countries are subject to similar challenges – foreign interference in democratic processes, economic pressure, threats to critical infrastructure. Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed satisfaction with the strengthening of NATO-Australian cooperation, which is also evidenced by Australia’s participation in the NATO summit in Madrid this past June and the expected participation of Australia in the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga.
In a conversation with the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed hope that the newly-inaugurated Latvian Embassy in Australia would promote economic cooperation and an increase in trade between the two countries. The Latvian side welcomed Australia’s decision to begin bilateral talks on an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion.
In order to support trade based on international law, it is essential to continue negotiations on an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement of the European Union with Australia.
In a meeting with representatives from the Pacific Island Countries – Nauru, Fiji, Samoa, and Vanuatu – residing in Canberra, the Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined the importance of the embassy just opened in Australia. Regardless of the distance, we see potential for cooperation in regional and multilateral formats, with the focus on strengthening resilience to disinformation and decisive action in relation to challenges posed by climate change, said the Minister.