On 9 March 2020, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelšs, met with the Ambassador of Lebanon, Rina Charbel, and the Ambassador of Mali, Oumou Sall-Seck.
In a conversation with the Lebanese Ambassador, the State Secretary discussed the bilateral relations between Latvia and Lebanon and developments in the Middle East. The State Secretary and the Ambassador commended the friendly political relations, while recognising the potential for deepening business contacts. The officials agreed that it was essential to promote people-to-people contacts as well as using the opportunities for strengthening cooperation offered by Honorary Consuls and groups for inter-parliamentary cooperation.
Sharing views on the state of affairs in the Middle East peace process, Andris Pelšs confirmed that Latvia consistently supports a two-state solution to be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. The officials pointed out that only a political solution to the conflict in Syria and that this is possible through UN-led talks. The State Secretary pledges solidarity with Lebanon over the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the country’s economy and he presented Latvia’s experience in overcoming the economic crisis in 2008–2009.
State Secretary Pelšs and the Ambassador of Mali discussed bilateral relations and the opportunities for promoting cooperation in various formats, including in international organisations. Opinions were also exchanged on security-related developments in the Sahel region. The State Secretary informed the Ambassador that Latvia is involved in the international efforts to combat terrorism and takes part in various formats of strengthening international peace and security, including two operations in Mali.
The Ambassadors presented copies of their letters of credence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official accreditation ceremonies with the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, are scheduled to take place on 10 March.
The Ambassador of Lebanon resides in Warsaw, Poland, and the Ambassador of Mali resides in Berlin, Germany.