U.S. and Latvia discuss bilateral cooperation

  • 2009-08-13
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
RIGA- On August 12, Foreign Minister MarisRiekstins met with the Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs ofthe U.S. Department of State, Philip H. Gordon with the aim of discussingbilateral relations between Latvia and the U.S., military and civilco-operation within the international operation in Afghanistan, the involvementof the Baltic states in drafting the NATO Strategic Concept and furtherdevelopment of the process, as well as the European Union's Eastern PartnershipInitiative and co-operation with countries - Europe's eastern neighbours. Therepresentatives of Latviaand the U.S. also exchangedopinions on the energy policy and relations with the Russian Federation.

 Both parties shared the opinionthat the U.S. policy towardsthe Baltic states remains unchanged and takesforward the existing strategic partnership and an active political dialogue.

 "This is the first visit by a high levelrepresentative from the U.S. Department of State since the new U.S.Administration has assumed office, which provides yet another proof of the wishby the U.S. to continue and strengthen the co-operation with Latvia,"Foreign Minister Riekstins noted.

Riekstins confirmed hisreadiness for an active co-operation with the newly appointed U.S. AmbassadorJudith Garber who is due to arrive in Latvia late August, and take up herpost.

 During thediscussion Mr Riekstins and Mr Gordon highlighted the fields, wheretransatlantic cooperation is particularly important, including the development processof the new NATO Strategic Concept and Eastern Partnership of the EuropeanUnion. Concerning NATO, Maris Riekstins pointed out that discussions on thestrategic concept will consolidate the partners' views on the most importantsecurity policy issues and will strengthen relations with the alliancepartners, including the Russian Federation. In the context of the EasternPartnership, Philip Gordon stressed that the USAis a serious partner to the European Union for facilitating the process ofdemocratic reforms in Europe's easternneighbouring countries.

 The Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins previouslymet with Philip Gordon during his working visits in the USA on 14 July2009 and on 10 October 2008, when Philip Gordon participated in organizing thepresidential elections campaign of the new president of the USA Barack Obama.