On 23 May, the Minister of Foreign affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Mobashar Jawed Akbar, who is in Latvia on a working visit.
At the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs appreciated the successful development of Latvia-India relations and emphasised the need for a continued exchange of high level visits. In the context of the promotion of economic cooperation, the ministers noted in particular the potential for contacts in the sectors of IT and the transport and logistics.
Mobashar Jawed Akbar said that India has been seeing rapid economic growth over the past years, and the upcoming Latvia-India Business Forum is a vital step towards closer cooperation. It was noted with appreciation that the interest of young people from India in Latvia’s higher education institutions is increasing year by year – there were 750 Indian students in Latvia at the beginning of the current academic year. Mobashar Jawed Akbar emphasised that cooperation in education and science is conducive to closer relations between the states.
The meeting also addressed matters concerning cooperation in international organisations, and topics high on the international agenda. The ministers strongly condemned violence and international terrorism, especially in light of the Manchester terror attack yesterday, on 22 May.
Referring to cooperation between the European Union and India, the Latvian Foreign Minister expressed hope that the EU-India negotiations on a free trade agreement could be resumed in the near future. Mobashar Jawed Akbar stressed that India is interested in a closer relationship with the EU.
The meeting was followed by the signing of an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Republic of India on waiver of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic passports.
As part of his visit, Mobashar Jawed Akbar also had meetings with the President of Latvia, the Speaker of the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Minister of Economy. On 24 May, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs will open the Latvia-India Business Forum jointly organised by the Embassy of India in Stockholm, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the Ministry of Economy.
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