From 3 to 8 August 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, is due to make an official visit to the Commonwealth of Australia and, from 9 to 12 August, to New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand are like-minded countries to Latvia in the Pacific region and close partners in NATO.
During his visit in Australia, the Minister will open an Embassy of Latvia in Canberra, the first resident Latvian embassy in the Pacific. Edgars Rinkēvičs is to meet with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Senator Penny Wong; the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles; the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator Don Farrell; and the Premier of Australia, Peter Malinauskas, with whom current foreign policy and security policy will be discussed as well as the ways to expand a bilateral political and economic dialogue. The Minister is also due to meet with the ambassadors of the Pacific island countries accredited to Australia.
In appreciation of work by the Latvian diaspora and their contribution to maintaining the Latvian language and culture and strengthening relations between the two countries. Edgars Rinkēvičs will meet with the members of the Latvian diaspora in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney, including the leadership of the Latvian Federation of Australia and New Zealand and the Latvian Relief Society Daugavas Vanagi.
In New Zealand, the Minister intends to meet with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Adrian Rurawhe; the Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aupito William Sio; the Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O`Connor; the Minister for Defence, Peeni Henare; and the Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff. Edgars Rinkēvičs will then deliver a public lecture on security in Europe at Victoria University of Wellington. At Auckland University, the Minister will take part in a round table discussion on opportunities for cooperation with New Zealand in the field of research in the Indo-Pacific region.