RIGA - Latvia will seek to develop closer security cooperation with its NATO partners Turkey and Norway, as Saeima Chairman Edvards Smiltens (United List) said at meetings with the two countries' ambassadors on Wednesday.
During the meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Latvia Sule Oztunc, Smiltens said that Latvia and Turkey were close allies that could overcome any difficulties together, as Saeima Press Service told LETA.
"Turkey and Latvia actively cooperate in security matters and are close partners in NATO. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made our cooperation more active. What is happening in Ukraine affects the entire world, and in the context of current geopolitical developments, close cooperation between like-minded countries is even more important. We can overcome difficulties together," said Smiltens.
He said he was grateful for Turkey's help to Ukraine and its role in the negotiations on exports of Ukrainian grain.
Speaking about the opportunities for deepening cooperation between the two countries, the Turkish ambassador emphasized economic cooperation, investments were also discussed. The ambassador also said she was pleased with the growing number of Latvian tourists in Turkey.
Smiltens and Oztunc also discussed importance of dialog between the two countries' parliaments. Smiltens offered his condolences to Turkey over last week's terror attack in Istanbul that killed six people and injured dozens more.
During the meeting with Norwegian Ambassador to Latvia Ine Mareng, Smiltens said that national security was the basis of a stable economy and that the current geopolitical situation required closer economic and defense cooperation among the allies.
Russia's aggression in Ukraine has contributed to adoption of decisive decisions, including the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, said Smiltens. The Norwegian ambassador agreed, stressing the need to continue work on strengthening NATO borders.
Commenting on support for Ukraine, Smiltens emphasized importance of every contribution in the fight for Ukraine's freedom, while Mareng thanked Latvia for its support for Ukrainian civilians.
Smiltens and the Norwegian ambassador also discussed opportunities for deepening cooperation and experience exchange in innovations, including in digital technology.