“We can be proud of the efforts by Latvia’s foreign service on the strengthening of foreign economic relations and external security of the country, engaging in talks on the European Union’s multiannual budget and promoting bilateral relations,” emphasised Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs at the festive event held on 25 January to mark the 92nd anniversary of the international de iure recognition of the Republic of Latvia.
On this day, also called the Diplomats’ Day, following and established tradition, Foreign Minister awards Certificates of Recognition from the Cabinet of Ministers for selfless service and achievements for the benefit of the Latvian state and its people, and the Foreign Ministry Certificates of Appreciation for outstanding contribution to the strengthening of the Republic of Latvia.
In tribute to the efforts of statesman and diplomat Kārlis Zariņš in sustaining the legal continuity and de iure legitimacy of Latvia during the years of occupation, his memorial room, Kārlis Zariņš’ Salon, was opened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “This place will serve as a reminder of the long and rich history of the Latvian diplomacy. From there we can draw inspiration for further work,” the Minister noted. The room on the first floor retains its original circle design and from now on it will be used as a representational venue. The display features the document granting Zariņš extraordinary powers, miniature replicas of decorations awarded to him by Latvia and foreign states, as well as photographs. Everybody interested in seeing these testimonies of diplomatic history can arrange a visit in advance by calling the Public Relations Division, tel. 67016447.
For forty years, Kārlis Zariņš (1879 – 1963) held leading posts in the Latvian diplomatic service: he was Ambassador to the Scandinavian countries, Estonia and the U.K. (1919 – 1963). Zariņš was Foreign Minister from 1931 to 1933. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, in its session of 17 May 1940, granted him extraordinary powers to assume leadership of Latvia’s diplomatic and consular service in the case of hostilities or other extraordinary circumstances. Kārlis Zariņš successfully carried out this mission for almost 23 years. Under extraordinary powers vested in him, Zariņš appointed a number of diplomatic agents and acting honorary consuls in Western states thus ensuring a continued operation of diplomatic representations after Latvia had lost its independence. This was a vital factor that enabled the de iure existence of Latvia as an internationally legitimate state during the occupation.
On 30 January, as part of festive events to commemorate the de iure recognition of Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs will go to Sēme and Zentene municipalities in Tukums District to take part in the unveiling of a memorial stand to Latvia’s first foreign minister Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics on the location of his tragic death in a car crash on 22 August 1925. In remembrance of the tragic event, a bronze bas relief and a monument have been put up at Sēme and Birzule (Zentene municipality).
Diplomats will visit the town of Tukums and tell the pupils of Ernests Birznieks-Upītis First Primary School about a diplomat’s profession, the tasks of the foreign service, the life and work of Foreign Minister Meierovics and the de iure day.