The 95th anniversary of the de iure recognition of the Republic of Latvia, otherwise known as “Diplomats Day” was celebrated on 26 January. To commemorate the occasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised several events.
Speaking to those gathered at a festive event in the Foreign Ministry on 25 January, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said that on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the de iure recognition of the Republic of Latvia, the Latvian Foreign Service is facing challenges similar to those encountered by the founders of our Foreign Service – Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics and the first Latvian diplomats. Latvia’s membership of NATO and the EU seems self-evident, but still, Latvian diplomats must make all efforts in the future to strengthen Latvia’s connection with the Euro-Atlantic community, the Minister asserted.
During the event, an original document from the Latvian National Archives – a note on the recognition of Latvia de iure signed on 26 January 1921 by Aristide Briand, French Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, President of the meetings of the Supreme Council of Allied Powers from 22 to 26 January 1921 – was displayed in the lobby of the Foreign Ministry building, in a state-of-the-art showcase manufactured by the Latvian company, “Groglass”.
The “Minutes” of the 26 January 1921 meeting of the Supreme Council of Allied Powers were also displayed: the document is a record of the debate by representatives of the allied powers on the recognition of Latvia and Estonia de iure. This was made possible due to the cooperation of Sarmīte Danne, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Latvia in France, with the archives of the Foreign Ministry of France, from which the document was received. This was the first time ever that the document was displayed in Latvia.
The reception was attended by ministers, members of the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), the foreign diplomatic corps, honorary consuls, Latvian diplomats that have retired, and partners in cooperation. As has been the custom on this occasion, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs presented employees of the Foreign Ministry and other institutions with certificates of recognition and merit for successful cooperation and contributions to the strengthening the Republic of Latvia. Edgars Rinkēvičs also presented a certificate of recognition by the Cabinet of Ministers for significant contributions to the drafting of negotiations documents and conducting expert negotiations with the UN, thereby ensuring Latvia’s visibility internationally.
In an annual memorial ceremony, flowers were laid at the graves of Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, Jānis Čakste and former officials of the Foreign Ministry – Imants Daudišs, Pēteris Vasariņš, Dace Krievāne, Jānis Lovniks, Maija Āboltiņa and Hardijs Baumanis – in the Forest Cemetery (Meža Kapi).
To mark the anniversary of the international recognition of the Republic of Latvia, the Minister also met with non-resident Ambassadors to Latvia.
To commemorate the anniversary of the international recognition of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a publication – a brochure in Latvian and English entitled “26 January 1921: Latvia receives de iure recognition - Enduring and Irrevocable”.
Latvia’s recognition de iure meant that the country became a subject of international law – Latvia could proceed with acceding to international conventions, signing multilateral agreements, and participating in international conferences as a full-fledged member, as well as organizing and participating in official consultations.
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