Obama wins U.S. election

  • 2008-11-05
  • Monika Hanley in cooperation with BNS

Barack Obama will be the first African-American president of the United States

RIGA- Presidential hopeful Republican John McCain officially conceded theelection to Democrat Barack Obama, in what is seen as an historical moment forboth the U.S. and the world.

Latvian Foreign Minister Maris Riekstinssaid that Latvia is ready to continue close cooperation with the administration ofthe newly-elected U.S. President Barack Obama not only bilaterally, but also within theEuropean Union (EU) and NATO.

Riekstins told reporters that Latvia since restoration of itsindependence has had a very good relationship with administrations of all US presidents both Republican andDemocrat.

"I am sure thatrelations with the US will be developed at the sameatmosphere also with the new US president. We are ready to continueclose cooperation both bilaterally and within NATO and EU," saidRiekstins.

He said that the US foreign policy will see newelements, signs of which could be observed during Obama's pre-electioncampaign, such as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Iran's nuclear program.

"Undoubtedly, therewill be changes, but what is important for Latvia, Obama has repeatedly voicedsupport to European new democracies, including Latvia. I am looking forward withoptimism," said the minister.

U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Charles Larson ispositive that relations between the U.S. and Latviawill remain good after the victory of Barack Obama.

Larson told the press whenthe results were in, that the U.S. foreign policy has been consistentregarding the Baltic states andLatvia, therefore he believes no significant changesare expected. The US has strong and long-term relationswith Latvia," he said.

Speaking about having toleave his position, Larson said that he loves Latvia, but changes are healthy."These are normal changes," he said.

Larson admitted thatObama's victory means very significant changes not only in the US, but also in the world. "It isa serious signal regarding tolerance," said Larson. "This is ahistoric and exciting day," he said.

President-elect BarackObama and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden are to be sworn in to office on Jan. 20, 2009.