RIGA - On April 9, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the United States Congressional Delegation led by Congressman Bill Shuster to share views on transatlantic relations, the strategic partnership between Latvia and the U.S. in security and defense, and cooperation on transport and energy, BNS learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.
Rinkevics stressed the importance of U.S. forward presence in the Baltic Sea region and confirmed Latvia’s preparedness to invest in defense, including by continued increase in its defense spending to reach the 2 percent of GDP target by 2018.
U.S. Congressmen offered unflagging political support for Latvia’s security. Latvia can continue to count on support from the U.S. Congress. The Congressmen also thanked Latvia for its solidarity and assistance given in the fight against international terrorism. The offer to build cooperation between U.S. and Latvian ports and make use of the U.S. potential for the export of liquefied natural gas came as a message special significance to Latvia.
The meeting also addressed current developments in the European Union and the Middle East and relationship with Russia.
As part of their stay, the U.S. Congressional Delegation also visited the Adazi military base and took part in a roundtable discussion on transport issues.
The U.S. Congressional Delegation from the House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Energy and Commerce included Congressmen Bill Shuster, Blake Farenthold, Sam Graves, Adam Kinzinger, Mark Sandford, Albio Sires, Randy Weber, and Garrett Graves.