On 23 September 2021 in New York, during the high-level week of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, a joint communication establishing diplomatic relations between Latvia and South Sudan was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, and the Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of South Sudan, Deng Dau. Thereby South Sudan becomes the 190th member state of the United Nation with which Latvia has set up diplomatic ties.

In a conversation, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Latvia was gradually expanding its cooperation with African countries – enhancing political dialogue and visit exchange, intensifying business contacts and cooperation in international organisations. In this context, the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Sudan is of major importance, since this country was the only one in Africa that did not have diplomatic ties with Latvia.

Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that Latvia, being a European Union Member State, considers that cooperation with Africa should be based on sustainable solutions and the principles of equal partnership with the aim of fostering international peace, security and sustainable development.

In the context of building business contacts between the two countries, the Latvian Foreign Minister noted that the ICT sector has been developing rapidly in Latvia and has become highly competitive. I see this as an area in which mutually advantageous contacts should be sought with partners in Africa, Edgars Rinkēvičs said.

The Ministers also discussed cooperation in international organisations and latest foreign policy related developments.

Background information

Diplomatic relations form the basis for cooperation between countries. South Sudan is the 190th UN member state with which Latvia has established diplomatic relations. Latvia has diplomatic ties with non-member states of the UN – Kosovo, the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta. From among 193 UN members, Latvia has not yet established diplomatic relations with the Marshall Islands and Bhutan.