On 3 August 2022, in Canberra, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, officially inaugurated an Embassy of Latvia in Australia.
The inauguration ceremony saw the raising of the national flag of Latvia, with the representatives of Indigenous Australians and the Government officials, the Latvian Ambassador Marģers Krams and embassy staff, the leadership of the Latvian diaspora organisations and invited guests in attendance.
This is a historic occasion in bilateral relations between Latvia and Australia. This year marks the 101st anniversary since Australia recognised Latvia’s independence de jure and 31 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations.
Latvia and Australia are like-minded countries united by a common understanding of democracy, human rights, and the rules based international order, which is of special importance in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region alike. The strengthening of cooperation between like-minded countries has never been as important before as it is now, Edgars Rinkēvičs said at the opening of the Embassy.
The Minister thanked Australia for welcoming the Latvian refugees during the World War II. The Latvians living in Australia have organised themselves into several dozen associations. The substantial Latvian diaspora has brought Latvia and Australia closer together and has also played an important role in setting up an embassy in Canberra.
I am confident that the opening of the Embassy will expand the bilateral political dialogue and create new opportunities for practical cooperation in economy, culture and other fields, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined. The Minister then expressed hope that the Embassy would become a regional centre for building and strengthening contacts with other Oceanian countries. The Embassy also represents Latvia’s interests in New Zealand.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Minister was presented with a unique collection of documents that belonged to Jēkabs Pūre, the Consul of Latvia in Shanghai (1933–1945). The historical records were gifted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the diplomat’s grandson Leo Pūre, who currently lives in Australia.