On 18 February 2020 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, who is in Latvia on an official visit. The Ministers discussed bilateral relations between Latvia and Iceland, cooperation in international organisations, regional cooperation, and security issues.
The Latvian Foreign Minister noted that Iceland would always have a special role in Latvia’s history as the first country to recognise the restored independence of Latvia and the other Baltic States in 1991. We shall be happy to see representatives from Iceland in Riga later this year, on the 4th of May, to mark 30 years since the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of Latvia was adopted, said Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Edgars Rinkēvičs thanked Iceland for its contribution to the strengthening of Baltic security. “Building on unity demonstrated at the NATO Leaders Meeting in London, the collective defence of the Alliance should be further strengthened, underlined the Minister. We support the efforts to strengthen NATO’s political dimension, he added.
The Latvian Foreign Minister highlighted the main aspects of regional cooperation – security, connectivity, including cooperation in the field of digitalisation, climate, and the region’s cooperation with the United Kingdom after Brexit. Therefore, in the Brexit context, future cooperation between the NB8 and the United Kingdom, including regular meetings of the Northern Future Forum, is of key importance. Cooperation formats in the Baltic Sea region, such as the Northern Dimension and the Council of the Baltic Sea States, are platforms that help sustain the relationship between the European Union and Russia, especially on the current issues of environment and climate, said Edgars Rinkēvičs.
The Minister expressed Latvia’s support for the Presidency of Iceland at the Arctic Council (2019-2021), which has been a successful format for promoting cooperation on sustainable development and environmental protection.
During the conversation, Edgars Rinkēvičs drew attention to the Baltic and Nordic region being one of Europe’s fastest growing and competitive regions, which must be geared to become a leader in digital cooperation, introduction of 5G technologies and innovations.
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