On 16 April 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with ambassadors who had been accredited to Latvia in the second half of 2020 and at the beginning of 2021: the Ambassador of Austria, Doris Danler; the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Efthymios Efthymiades; the Ambassador of Germany, Christian Heldt; and the Ambassador of Sweden, Karin Höglund. The diplomats exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and the latest international developments, including on the challenges that the EU and NATO face in common. Edgars Rinkēvičs informed the Ambassadors about the joint Baltic States Foreign Ministers visit to Ukraine.
Concerning Austria, the Minister noted that 2021 is special for cooperation between Latvia and Austria, as it marks 100 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Latvia and Austria are linked by a dependable partnership bilaterally, at the level of the European Union and in multilateral formats. Both countries have built close cooperation on climate issues supporting the EU’s climate policy. The Minister praised the Austrian Embassy’s work and expressed hope that the activities of the Embassy will be resumed in Riga with a resident Ambassador.
In a conversation with the German Ambassador, the Foreign Minister highlighted the excellent bilateral relations and pointed out that the current years sees the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Germany and 30 years since their resumption. Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Germany is one of Latvia’s most important trade partners and he confirmed Latvia’s interest in an extended cooperation with a focus on the areas of science and future technologies such as bioeconomy, biomedicine, smart materials, smart energy and ICT. The Foreign Minister also thanked Germany for its significant contribution to the strengthening security of the Baltic Sea region.
This past 5 February marked the centenary since Sweden recognised Latvia internationally, and the 30th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations will be celebrated in August. The Minister highlighted Sweden’s support for the restoration of Latvia’s democracy. Sweden is a close neighbour and an important regional partner. The Minister expressed appreciation of the good results of economic cooperation, and he also called for building even closer cooperation in the NB8 format and on regional security matters, including through strengthening cooperation between NATO and Latvia. Edgars Rinkēvičs voiced support for the Swedish presidency of the OSCE in 2021.
In a conversation with the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Edgars Rinkēvičs praised the friendly dialogue between the two countries. The Minister congratulated Greece on the 200th anniversary of the revolution of 1821 and the establishment of modern Greece. The 30 years since the renewal of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Greece are celebrated this year, but the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic ties will be marked next year. The Minister underlined that these milestones can be a good basis for the development of the political dialogue and business contacts between the two countries as well as cooperation in international organisations and regional formats.
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