By Alla Petrova (September 1, 2011)
Yesterday at the Canadian Embassy in Riga, Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis and the Canadian Ambassador to Latvia Scott Heatherington opened the event dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the restoration of Latvian-Canadian bilateral relations, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry.
Making an address to those in attendance, the minister expressed gratitude to the Government of Canada which was the first of the G7 countries to renew diplomatic relations with the Baltic States on August 26, 1991. Kristovskis also noted the invaluable support Canada gave in Latvia’s aspirations to join NATO.
The Foreign Ministry informs that Canada was also the first to ratify the protocol on the accession of new member states to the alliance. The Government of Canada has provided significant support for the development of institutions and organizations in Latvia through funding cooperation projects in the fields of environmental protection, education, society integration, the reform of the judiciary, health and social system.
Twenty years is a point of reference, when we can look back and see what has been achieved; nevertheless, it is important to look forward at the opportunities not yet utilized and see how our close relationship could be enhanced and expanded in order to make our friendship even more sincere and mutually advantageous,” said the minister, and indicated that the current initiatives should be continued towards the strengthening of economic ties: promoting co-operation between ports, evaluating opportunities in the energy sector and facilitating the exchange of students and teachers.
The Foreign Ministry regards Latvian-Canadian bilateral relations as constructive; both countries also engage in successful co-operation within international organizations. Latvia and Canada both are committed to the strengthening of democracy and to global economic and social development. Latvia successfully cooperates with Canada at the parliamentary and governmental level, as well as at the level of academic, non-governmental and Professional organizations. The community of Latvians in Canada actively contribute to strengthening Latvian-Canadian bilateral relations.