May 26, 2016
Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

On 26 May in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevics, met with the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to discuss with Latvian officials the preparations for the NATO Summit in Warsaw and EU issues as well as bilateral cooperation between Latvia and Germany.

We highly value the active bilateral dialogue with our strategic partner, Germany. And this year we mark 95 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Germany and 25 years since those relations were restored, Edgars Rinkevics noted during the meeting.

Edgars Rinkevics and Frank Walter Steinmeier also discussed defence cooperation between Latvia and Germany both bilaterally and within NATO with a view to the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit in July. Latvia appreciates that, already in advance of the Warsaw Summit, there is a common understanding among the members of the Alliance of the need for an enhanced Allied presence on NATO’s eastern flank, including the Baltic States and Poland. To this end, resilience to hybrid threats must be strengthened both in EU and NATO member states and in the neighbourhood, the Latvian Foreign Minister stressed during the meeting.

Both Ministers highlighted the need to jointly seek solutions to the migration crisis currently encountered by Europe and the conflict in Ukraine, also in the context of Germany’s OSCE chairmanship. The Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on the issues high on EU agenda, such as relations with Russia and the Eastern Partnership policy.

In the context of bilateral cooperation, Edgars Rinkevics underscored the Latvia-Germany action plan approved by both Ministers on 17 April 2015 aimed at the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the field of media and communications, civil society, education and youth policy. The Action Plan has become a core element in bilateral cooperation.

Edgars Rinkevics expressed his appreciation concerning Germany’s support for the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga and the projects of the Baltic Media Centre of Excellence, as well as cooperation with Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. The Foreign Ministers made a commitment to intensify cooperation between Latvia and Germany in the areas of civil society and work-based learning.