On 23 September 2021, during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Iraq and Egypt for a discussion on latest regional issues and bilateral relations.
In a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, Edgars Rinkēvičs informed him about a targeted hybrid operation deployed by the Belarusian regime against Latvia through using third country nationals as a tool to facilitate illegal migration. The Latvian Foreign Minister called on his Iranian colleague to establish a cooperation mechanism for the readmission of Iraqi citizens.
We have sent our proposal for the signing of a readmission agreement with Iraq and we hope for a speedy reply, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted adding that the signing of such an agreement is only one of the possible instruments for action. We are prepared to also consider cooperation on the basis of an arrangement and exchange of contacts, said the Latvian Foreign Minister. Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Belarusian authorities are instrumentalising citizens of other countries in response to sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU). Due to that, Latvia had been forced to declare a state of emergency in the region bordering on Belarus. The Latvian Foreign Minister thanked Fuad Hussein again for suspending the flights by Iraqi national airlines from Baghdad to Minsk and he called for the suspension period to be extended until the end of the migrant crisis.
As he met with with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that while the relations between Latvia and Egypt are good and constructive, a political dialogue and economic contacts should be further strengthened, as well as promoting cooperation in education and science. We are prepared, the Latvian Foreign Minister underlined, to expand the economic dialogue, for instance, cooperation in the timber processing and food processing sectors, as well as building contacts in the field of information and communication technologies.
The Foreign Minister of Egypt received information about a hybrid operation against Latvia, Lithuania and Poland staged by the Lukashenko regime and instrumentalising third country nationals to facilitate illegal migration in its own interests. Edgars Rinkēvičs called on his Egyptian colleague to give attention to those development in order to prevent the territory of Egypt from being used for facilitating illegal migration in the interests of Lukashenko’s regime.
The Latvian Foreign Minister was invited to make a visit to Egypt in the near future.