RIGA - Bilateral relations between Latvia and Australian have become more active following the opening of the Latvian embassy in Canberra, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andris Pelss and the Assistant Secretary for Europe at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jane Hardy, observed during a meeting on Monday.
As LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry, the meeting between Pelss and Hardy focused on the current geopolitical situation, paying special attention to Russia's war in Ukraine, Belarus, developments in the Indo-Pacific region, climate change and energy security.
The state secretary presented to the Australian official the issues of current importance to Latvia in the security context, as well as political support and humanitarian assistance rendered to Ukraine until now. Pelss thanked Australia for its firm condemnation of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and expressed hope that the present meeting would set off regular political consultations with Australia.
Hardy for her part gave an outline of the new priorities of the Australian government for the Indo-Pacific region, recognizing climate change as one of the most acute priorities for the small islands of Oceania. In a discussion on regional and global security challenges, the officials were unanimous about the need to strengthen the resilience of countries in the matters of cybersecurity and diversification of supply chains.
Hardy is an experienced career diplomat specializing in security and disarmament issues. She has represented the Australian Government as Ambassador to Spain, Andorra, and Equatorial Guinea, as well as serving as Australian Consul-General in Honolulu and the government’s senior representative to the US Indo-Pacific Command.
Australia was one of the first countries to recognize Latvia’s independence on August 27, 1991 and to announce its decision to establish diplomatic relations with the Baltic states. The first resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Australia, Margers Krams, has been working in Canberra since October 13, 2021.