On 16 June 2020, the Latvian Foreign Ministry's State Secretary, Andris Pelšs met with the Ambassador of France to Latvia, Aurélie Royet-Gounin, on an introductory visit as she begins her new posting.
Ambassador Royet-Gounin confirmed France's determination and resolute political will in continuing close cooperation with Latvia as well as an interest in broadening trade and business relations. She emphasised that in their action plan for 2018-2022, Latvia and France will be pursuing work in many directions that will lead to deepening the relationship and making it richer.
Andris Pelšs underlined that France is a key NATO Ally. France is contributing to Latvia's security with its participation in the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Estonia and with its engagement in Baltic air-policing over the years. Ambassador Royet-Gounin said that France has appreciated Latvia's participation in the training and stabilisation mission in Mali.
The State Secretary pointed out that, for some time now, the fight against disinformation has been a priority for Latvia in multilateral fora, and bilaterally. He thanked France for its support in this area and for joining as a co-author in the Latvian-initiated cross-regional statement at the United Nations Organization on fighting the "infodemic" of disinformation in the context of COVID-19.
State Secretary Pelšs commented on how France has come to rank highly on the list of Latvia's trade partners and the call to French companies and investors to become involved in the Rail Baltica project. He spoke positively about prospects and opportunities for cooperation with regard to airBaltic and Airbus.
State Secretary Pelšs placed an emphasis on what Latvia has to offer in the ICT sector, Latvia's exports in the field of information and communication technology are the largest and fastest growing in the Baltics.
Ambassador Aurélie Royet-Gounin mentioned Tilde's readiness to ensure machine translation services to France's EU Presidency, and said that during her tenure she would like to raise the profile of support especially for SMEs, small and medium sized enterprises. State Secretary Pelšs noted that the e-Saiema solutions were realised through the efforts of a small consortium of companies working together.
A copy of the French Ambassador's letter of accreditation was provided to the Foreign Ministry. The ceremony to present her credentials to the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, took place on 16 June.
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