RIGA - Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) in Canberra on Wednesday officially inaugurated the Latvian Embassy in Australia, LETA was told at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The inauguration ceremony saw the raising of the national flag of Latvia, with the representatives of Indigenous Australians and government officials, Latvian Ambassador Margers Krams and embassy staff, leaders of Latvian diaspora organizations and invited guests in attendance.
This is a historic occasion in bilateral relations between Latvia and Australia. This year marks the 101st anniversary since Australia recognized Latvia’s independence de jure and 31 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations, the ministry noted.
Latvia and Australia are like-minded countries united by a common understanding of democracy, human rights, and the rules based international order, which is of special importance in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region alike. The strengthening of cooperation between like-minded countries has never been as important before as it is now, Rinkevics said at the inauguration ceremony.
The minister thanked Australia for welcoming Latvian refugees during the World War II. The Latvians living in Australia have organized themselves into several dozen associations. The sizable Latvian diaspora has brought Latvia and Australia closer together and has also played an important role in setting up an embassy in Canberra.
I am confident that the opening of the embassy will expand the bilateral political dialogue and create new opportunities for practical cooperation in economy, culture and other fields, Rinkevics underlined. The minister then expressed hope that the embassy would become a regional center for building and strengthening contacts with other Oceanian countries. The embassy also represents Latvia’s interests in New Zealand.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Latvian minister was presented with a unique collection of documents that used to belong to Jekabs Pure, the Consul of Latvia in Shanghai (1933–1945). The historical records were gifted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the diplomat’s grandson Leo Pure, who currently lives in Australia.