Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics Calls On John Kerry To Support Eastern Partnership Countries And Closer Involve Central Asian Countries In Stabilising Afghanistan

By Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

On 27 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics, together with the Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Paet and the Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius met with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Latvian Foreign Minister thanked his United States counterpart for the U.S. unwavering support for Latvia and other Baltic states in their integration with the EU and NATO and expressed conviction that the strategic partnership between the U.S. and the Baltic states would be continued.

Foreign Minister Rinkevics voiced support for the EU Eastern partnership initiative and its member states that have chosen the path of Euroatlantic integration. Minister Rinkevics also emphasized the importance of a broader involvement of the Central Asian states in stabilizing Afghanistan and its neighboring region in the context of the withdrawal of international forces in 2014. The minister called on the U.S. to closely cooperate in this field and the U.S. Secretary of State expressed wholehearted support for Latvia’s proposal.

The Latvian Foreign Minister asked the U.S. to support Latvia’s membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and accentuated Latvia’s interest in the signing of the EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which would add a significant impulse to strengthening economic cooperation.

Minister Rinkevics confirmed that the enhancement of the EU-U.S. relations would be among the priorities for the Latvian EU Presidency in the first half of 2015.

In the meeting with John Kerry the parties discussed energy issues essential for the Baltic region, and possible U.S. support in that sector. The ministers also talked about other key topics in foreign policy and security policy.

The meeting among the Baltic states Foreign Ministers and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was held shortly before the EU and NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Rome. John Kerry was approved as the United States Secretary of State on 29 January, and officially assumed the post on 1 February.