On 27 February 2020, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in Washington D.C., and signed a United States-Republic of Latvia Joint Declaration on 5G Security, taking into account that fifth generation wireless communications networks (5G) will be vital to both future prosperity and national security as well as facilitating cross-border services and commerce.
Taking into account the prime importance of secure fifth generation wireless communications networks, the United States and Latvia are declaring their desire to strengthen their cooperation in this field. Upon signing the declaration, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that 5G will enable a vast array of new applications, including in the critical infrastructure. The Foreign Minister added that this cooperation will benefit our citizens and our economies. Increased amounts of data on 5G networks will further interconnect the economies of the world, including the United States and Latvia.
During the meeting, the officials also discussed the issues of strategic partnership between Latvia and the United States, transatlantic cooperation and security policy. The Minister reiterated Latvia’s support for the establishment of the Alliance for International Religious Freedom launched in Washington D.C. on 5 February, an event at which Latvia also was present.
Edgars Rinkēvičs thanked the United States of America for its contribution to the security of the Baltic States and the region and he characterised the bilateral relations as excellent. The United States of America is Latvia’s closest strategic ally, and this is reflected in a very broad agenda and in specific areas such as development cooperation, energy security and the prevention of hybrid threats, especially in cyber-security and with regard to disinformation, the Latvian Foreign Minister underlined. Minister Rinkēvičs noted that Latvia welcomes U.S. support for our security – both through military presence and financial support. We agree that concerns about NATO being “brain dead” have been exaggerated, considering that the Alliance has steadily increased in strength with U.S. leadership.
Minister Rinkēvičs also stated Latvia’s position of advocating a closer energy dialogue between the EU and the U.S. thereby facilitating security and diversification of the supply of energy resources.
The Latvian Foreign Minister noted that the involvement of the U.S. in the Three Seas Initiative is of major importance for the strengthening of the transatlantic link, and therefore Latvia is planning to contribute to the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund.
Minister Rinkēvičs drew attention to the fact that although Latvia has fulfilled all Moneyval/FATF requirements, all authorities are moving ahead in their efforts of strengthening Latvia’s financial system in line with the Action Plan approved by the Government, since the fight against money laundering, including terrorist financing, is an ongoing process.
Edgars Rinkēvičs also invited the U.S. Secretary of State to visit Latvia.
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