On 10 August, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrejs Pildegovičs, met with the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce.
During the discussion, Andrejs Pildegovičs highly appreciated political support of the U.S. Administration and Congress to Latvia and the Baltic region in general. Latvia is grateful for the historic decisions the U.S. and NATO made as to the increased forward presence of the Alliance in the Baltic states and is interested in securing the U.S. military presence in the Baltic region on land, in the air and at sea. Andrejs Pildegovičs emphasized that Latvia is determined to provide contribution to the strengthening of security through increasing its defence budget up to 2% of GDP in 2018, as well as continuing participation in international operations.
U.S. Congressman Royce expressed firm support for Latvia’s security. He stressed that the U.S. Congress is well aware of security challenges currently faced by Latvia and other countries in the region. The Congress has confirmed its support both by approving a resolution about the importance of NATO’s Article 5 and adopting a law on the implementation of stricter sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. Congressman Ed Royce is ready to promote cooperation between the U.S. and Latvia on the prevention of hybrid threats and risks to information environment.
Andrejs Pildegovičs invited the U.S. Congress and Administration to continue supporting development cooperation programs with the countries of the Eastern Partnership and the Central Asia region. Latvia has developed a successful cooperation with the U.S. in this area and it is important to move ahead.
Andrejs Pildegovičs and Ed Royce agreed about the importance of cooperation of the EU and the U.S. in the areas of security, economy and trade, as well as education.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs at the U.S. Congress, Ed Royce, is visiting Latvia within the frameworks of his visit to the Baltic states. In Latvia, Congressman Royce will meet with the Speaker of Saeima, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, as well as visiting the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence and Ādaži Military Base.
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