RIGA - It is planned that Riga will host a conference on the ‘New Silk Road’ initiative next year, which will allow connecting the Baltic and Central Asian regions for mutually beneficial economic cooperation, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andris Teikmanis announced during a Dec. 16 meeting with NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero, reports LETA.
The officials also discussed NATO’s military operations in Afghanistan, preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, which will focus mainly on the alliance’s participation in Afghanistan, development of a missile defense system, enhancement of military capabilities and partnership policy. The sides emphasized the smart defense initiative, which is also among the summit’s priorities.
Bisogniero pointed out that NATO’s patrol of Baltic airspace is a good example of the initiative, as it promotes cooperation between the countries and specialization in development of certain capabilities. Teikmanis emphasized that Latvia’s priority is currently to continue this operation, and all Baltic States have already confirmed that they are ready to increase their contribution in support and training of host countries. Teikmanis thanked Bisogniero for his active involvement and contribution to the alliance’s reform processes, improving its efficiency.