Minister of Foreign Affairs E. Rinkevics
October 12, 2012

On 11 October, Saeima authorized one-year extension of the participation of Latvia’ s armed forces Forces of Latvia in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics emphasized, while addressing the parliament deputies on behalf the government, that participation of the Latvian soldiers in the NATO operation in Afghanistan is, to a large extent, evidence that we are continuing to fulfil our commitments within the NATO community, and we are reliable allies in the Alliance. “ISAF is an operation where the solidarity of the Alliance countries is tested in deeds and not in words. We should not forget that Latvia, too, is receiving solidarity attestations from its NATO partners,” foreign minister reminded. “NATO member countries are making considerable investment in patrolling our airspace and in the modernisation of the Lielvarde Airfield; Latvian ports and railways are intensely used for of non-military cargo transportation in order to supply its ISAF; international military training exercise in the Baltic countries – all this, apart from being critical for the strength ening of our defence capability, is a significant financial contribution to the Latvian economy, which is a matter of no minor importance at this period of crisis.”

About 150 soldiers of National Armed Forces of Latvia will continue to be part of the ISAF operation in ISAF base in Mazar-e-Sharif, as well as in Kabul, Kandahar and Zabul province.

On 9 October, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2069 (2012) on extension of the International Security Assistance Force mandate for international operations in Afghanistan till 13 October 2012. Soldiers from Latvia have been part of the NATO operation in Afghanistan since 2003, and each year Saeima passes a resolution as to extension of the mandate in line with the UN mandate.