Traditional meeting of Latvia’s top officials: (from left to right) Ojars Kalnins, Solvita Aboltina, Andris Berzins, Valdis Dombrovskis and Edgars Rinkevics.
RIGA - Latvian President Andris Berzins on Jan. 9 met with Saeima Speaker Solvita Aboltina, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, chairman of the Saeima Foreign Relations Committee Ojars Kalnins, and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics to discuss this year’s foreign policy priorities for Latvia, as well as to reach agreement on a unified position among government officials when it comes to key foreign policy issues that are expected to arise this year.
The foreign minister spoke about Latvia’s main foreign policy priorities this year – intensive work at the European Union to strengthen Latvia’s position vis-a-vis the EU’s multi-year budget and the issue of fiscal discipline; Latvia’s position for the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, along with other issues which relate to security policies; and work on Latvia’s position related to regional infrastructural projects that are of importance to the country.
All participants agreed that there must be unified and coordinated action to ensure an effective approach toward issues which have to do with cohesion funds and agricultural financing in the next multi-year budget when meeting with officials from EU member states and institutions. President Berzins insisted that existing EU funds must be absorbed successfully before Latvia can seek further cohesion funds from the next multi-year budget.
The officials also discussed upcoming foreign policy debates in the Parliament in late January. The President said that it is in Latvia’s interests to be among those countries which are active participants in the work of the European Union. He particularly focused attention on draft laws which are pending in Parliament with respect to fiscal discipline and amendments to the Lisbon Treaty so that legislation related to the stabilization of the euro zone can take effect.
This meeting among top officials is a tradition, and it is held several times a year to discuss timely foreign policy issues and to reach agreement on joint viewpoints.