From 12 October to 16 October, the Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary, Andrejs Pildegovičs, was on a working visit in the United States of America and met with officials from the United States Department of State, Pentagon, the National Security Council, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Congress. Together with the delegation of the Bank of Latvia and the Ministry of Finance, the State Secretary took part in meetings at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Andrejs Pildegovičs also met with members of the Latvian community.
During the meetings, Andrejs Pildegovičs and his U.S colleagues discussed bilateral relations focusing on Latvia’s upcoming centennial, exchange visits by senior officials and the ways to intensify cooperation in security and in business. In the context of strengthening economic contacts, the parties exchanged views on the initiatives to be launched next year, including the Spotlight Latvia economic forum due at the end of October in Chicago. The State Secretary invited U.S. officials to take part in the event.
Other topics discussed were the security climate in the Baltic States, NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia, military exercises in the region, preparations for the next NATO Summit, Latvia-U.S. military cooperation, and the strengthening of Latvia’s defence capabilities. As he spoke about strategic communications, the State Secretary invited the U.S. to join the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence established in Latvia.
Discussions also addressed the Middle East, developments in the Korean Peninsula, and the coordination of sanctions on Russia and North Korea. Referring to relations with Iran and the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the State Secretary outlined the common position of the EU member states and presented arguments concerning the significance of the JCPOA.
State Secretary Pildegovičs met with officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss the joint initiatives successfully undertaken in development cooperation and shared views on new initiatives in the field of the media and public administration reforms targeting support for the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries.
As part of his visit, Andrejs Pildegovičs also visited the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rockville and met with members of the Latvian community in Washington, D.C.
During his visit, Andrejs Pildegovičs met with Richard Hooker, U.S. President’s Special Representative, Senior Director for NATO/Europe, National Security Council; Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State, European and Eurasian Affairs; Kurt Volker, United States Special Representative for Ukraine; Tom Goffus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy; David Tessler, Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff and sanctions coordinator, Department of State; officials from USAID, the Bureau of East Asian Affairs and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs of the Department of State, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
As a member of the delegation led by the Latvian Minister of Finance, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, and the Bank of Latvia, the State Secretary took part in talks with Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as well as attending the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
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