Edgars Rinkēvičs invites Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Latvia

08.06.2018. 07:32

On 7 June 2018, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Ministers discussed recent regional developments and the stable bilateral relations between the two countries, underlining the increasing bilateral cooperation. We are interested in cooperation in the field of high technologies, start-ups and innovations, noted Edgars Rinkēvičs.

In a discussion on the Middle East Peace Process, the minister expressed understanding of regional security threats to Israel and voiced his awareness of Israel’s concerns over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran’s nuclear deal. Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed the European Union’s (EU) commitment to concerted action towards containing Iran’s aggressive foreign policy. In a comment on the Middle East Peace Process, Edgars Rinkēvičs pointed out that Latvia did not intend to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recalling that Latvia remained of the opinion that Jerusalem was part of a two-state solution, whereby Israel’s security was guaranteed.

Edgars Rinkēvičs congratulated Israel on its 70th anniversary of independence and invited Benjamin Netanyahu to make an official visit to Latvia. The parties also agreed that the visit would present an excellent opportunity to organise a business forum.

As part of his visit to Jerusalem, Edgars Rinkēvičs visited Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, where he donated copies of two sketches by a Latvian artist Aleksandra Beļcova (1892-1981).

The artist has created the sketches under the impression of what she saw in the Riga Ghetto. These unique historical testimonies were found in the artist’s secretaire desk years after Beļcova’s daughter, Tatjana Suta, had bequeathed her flat to the national Museum of Latvia. In the autumn of 1941, several people the artist knew, including her former music teacher, were imprisoned in the Riga Ghetto. Beļcova used to bring him food packages to the ghetto. There she met another person she knew, a young Jewish woman named Anna, with two little children. Numerous drawings, unfinished sketches, rough outlines with endless variations of the same composition – a weeping woman with children – reveal the shock the artist must have felt at witnessing the tragic fates of the ghetto inmates. The 50 works that have been discovered give us the feeling that to create them had become an obsession for Aleksandra Beļcova, in an attempt to relieve suffering inflicted by the horrors of the Holocaust.


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