Cooperation with countries News
Mélanie Joly un Baiba Braže
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 31 May 2024, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baiba Braže, had an introductory meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mélanie Joly, in Prague, the Czech Republic. During the meeting, the Latvian and Canadian Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral cooperation and security issues, as well as comprehensive support to Ukraine against the full-scale Russian aggression.

Foreign Minister Baiba Braže thanked Canada for its invaluable contribution to the security and defence of Latvia by leading the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Latvia. Baiba Braže thanked Mélanie Joly particularly for Canada’s commitment to expanding its presence and establishing of a combat-capable brigade, which is an essential safeguard of security for Latvia and the region and a strong political declaration of Allied solidarity. The Minister underlined Latvia’s readiness to continue providing support for an increased presence of Allied forces in Latvia.

As they exchanged views on bilateral relations, the Ministers reaffirmed that Latvia and Canada are close, like-minded partners linked by friendly relations.

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Baiba Braže: “Canada has always been a friend and strong ally of Latvia. The presence of any allied forces in Latvia is not self-evident, therefore I highly appreciate and thank Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly for cooperation so far and Canada’s determination to continue to be the guarantor of the security of Latvia and the whole region. Together we are stronger – for our own security and for supporting Ukraine.”

The Latvian Foreign Minister welcomed the establishment of the Latvia-Canada Parliamentary Cooperation Group in the Parliament of Canada on 21 May and invited Canadian Minister Mélanie Joly to visit Latvia for the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and Canada (3+1).

The Ministers also discussed cooperation to consolidate international support to Ukraine, including its Peace Initiative, and preparations for the Summit on Peace in Ukraine to be held in Switzerland on 15-16 June. Latvia’s Foreign Minister emphasised that Latvia is among the most active supporters of Ukraine and pointed to Latvia’s comprehensive support already provided to Ukraine. “I have high regard for Canada’s considerable political, military, humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine. I would especially like to emphasise Canada’s engagement in in the release of prisoners of war, illegally detained civilians and deportees, including children. Also, Canada’s role in the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children,” said Latvia’s Foreign Minister Baiba Braže.

The Ministers also discussed the potential for economic cooperation in the fields of high technology, renewable energy and the military industry. Baiba Braže welcomed the economic policy dialogue between Latvia and Canada on current economic policy issues and cooperation areas launched in January 2024.

On 30-31 May 2024, the Foreign Minister Baiba Braže is in Prague, the Czech Republic, to take part in the informal meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs.