On 26 January, marking the anniversary of the international recognition of Latvia, Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins presented certificates of appreciation to 32 Foreign Ministry employees and to 22 representatives from other public and private sector institutions, including the Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, the Honorary Consul of Latvia in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Director of the Academic Library, the Culture Assistant of the French Culture Centre, the President of the Employers' Confederation of Latvia, and the Mayor of Poltsamaa Municipality, Estonia.
Foreign Minister Riekstins noted in his address that special respect was paid to statesmen and diplomats who have contributed to the formation of the foreign service and the strengthening of the state. At the opening of the exhibition "Statesman and Diplomat Kārlis Zarins – 130", Minister Riekstins accentuated that Zarins was the head of Latvia's diplomatic and consular service with extraordinary powers from 1940 to 1963, which was one of the preconditions for the maintaining the legal status of Latvia and to achieve that our de iure independence is preserved.
The Minister also stressed that this year when Latvia marked the 20th anniversary since the restoration of its independence and thus, also two decades of the Foreign Ministry. "In the course of those 20 years, the Foreign Ministry orchestrated the process of Latvia's international recognition, the EU and NATO accession talks, and facilitated Latvia's successful membership in those organisations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made significant contribution to the processes vital for the existence of Latvia's statehood," Minister Riekstins noted.
The exhibition entitled "Diplomat and Statesman Karlis Zarins – 130" is open until 26 February 2010 in the lobby of the Foreign Ministry building. Visits should be arranged in advance with the MFA Public Relations Division by telephone 67016447.
Events to mark the Diplomats Day will also take place on Wednesday 27 January. At 10.30 a.m. in Meza Kapi cemetery, a brief memorial ceremony will be held and flowers laid on the gravesites of Janis Cakste and Zigfrids Anna Meierovics. At 2 p.m., Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins will deliver a lecture entitled "Latvia's national and Europe's common policy" at the 68th Research Conference of the University of Latvia
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