RIGA - Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) has called on Turkey to support the establishment of a permanent defense presence in Latvia at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Madrid, LETA was informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out that today Rinkevics had a telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavusoglu to discuss the current geopolitical situation and the issue of NATO enlargement.
Rinkevics also expressed the position that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is a direct and significant improvement for the security of the Baltic States, Northern Europe and the Alliance as a whole. Finland and Sweden are NATO's closest and most reliable partners and play an important role in ensuring stability in the region.
At the same time, the Latvian Foreign Minister expressed his understanding of Turkey's legitimate security interests. The Minister expressed hope that a mutually acceptable solution would be found in the negotiation process and that Finland and Sweden would become members of NATO in the near future.
The Minister welcomed Turkey's decision to extend the period during which Latvian citizens are entitled to stay in Turkey without a visa. From May 19 this year, Latvian citizens have the right to stay in Turkey for 90 days in each 180-day period for tourism purposes.