During a working visit to Riga, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion met with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and the diplomats spoke together about the decisions made at NATO’s Warsaw Summit concerning the NATO battalion in Latvia in which Canada is the framework nation.
The Canadian Foreign Minister’s visit has taken place at a special time - the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. Latvia highly appreciates the support Canada gave to refugees from Latvia following World War II. “We are also grateful for Canada’s support during the OECD accession process,” the Latvian Foreign Minister stressed.
Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed Latvia’s support for further steps in the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) ratification process between Canada and the European Union.
The diplomats agreed that intensive practical work should be taking place on both sides so that the decisions related to Canada’s leadership in the NATO battalion are implemented by the beginning of 2017.
The Canadian Foreign Minister confirmed that the Canadian armed forces presence in Latvia has the goal of ensuring implementation of a successful NATO deterrence policy and to confirm friendship, solidarity and readiness to protect every square centimetre of Latvia. Canada is proud to offer assistance to Latvia as a friend, partner, and guest, Stéphane Dion said.
Minister Stéphane Dion placed special emphasis on Canada’s unwavering support for Latvia. Canada has expressed its support for Latvia in 1921 in recognising the Republic of Latvia, in 1940 for not recognising Latvia’s incorporation in the USSR, in 1991 for recognising the renewal of Latvia’s independence, and for its accession to NATO and the OECD, the Canadian Foreign Minister noted.