On September 9, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia Maris Riekstins met U.S. presidential aide, head of the U.S. National Security Council's Central and European Affairs section Stephen J. Flanagan.
The members of talks sincerely and friendly discussed the possibilities to extend cooperation between Latvia and the U.S. Riekstins and Flanagan seriously discussed political contacts between Latvia and the U.S., as well as cooperation in interior, justice, finance and military spheres. The sides highly praised the Baltic-U.S. Charter which will raise mutual relations to a new level. Riekstins expressed satisfaction over the U.S. interest in the Baltic region issues positively assessing participation of the U.S. in the Conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) in Riga, July 2-3, 1997, as well as in the session of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Nordic and Baltic States in Bergen (Norway), September 3-4, 1997.
The members of talks exchanged their views on the EU and NATO enlargement pace, as well as other topical issues of Europe and the region. The U.S. presidential aide noted that all NATO candidate states have to develop cooperation and compatibility with the NATO, as well as testify resolution to upgrade their defence forces according to the NATO standards.
Riekstins and Flanagan evaluated the possibilities to develop cooperation with Russia including implementation of regional projects. Riekstins positively regarded recent meeting of State President of Ulmanis with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Chernimyrdin expressing hope that it will provide an essential impulse for the relations between Latvia and Russia.
The members of talks also discussed cooperation between Latvia and the U.S. within international organisations, as well as contacts within the programme Partnership for Peace (PfP).
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