On 11 September 2020, Edgars Rinkēvičs met in Riga with Ambassadors who had been accredited to Latvia during the first half of 2020. In attendance at the gathering were the Ambassador of the French Republic, Aurélie Royet-Gounin; Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Han Seong-Jin; Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova, Andrian Roşa; and the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Timur Primbetov. The Minister and the Ambassadors discussed bilateral relations and developments in international affairs including the situation in Belarus.
While speaking on cooperation with France, the Minister expressed interest in activating cooperation concerning France’s new EU policies, namely, on the EU’s digital transformation and efforts in favour of the “Green Deal” and in making the EU carbon neutral by 2050 which Latvian and French leaders embraced at the 2019 Sibiu Summit, thereby promoting EU leadership on climate issues.
Latvia and France, said Edgars Rinkēvičs, can cooperate on building a regulatory framework for online platforms in the field of disinformation on the EU level, with the aim of achieving greater transparency and accountability of platforms while not undermining fundamental rights. The strengthening of the rule of law and democracy both in the EU and globally should also be further supported. Developments in Belarus are a clear reminder of how important our shared values are, the Minister underlined.
In a conversation with the Ambassador of South Korea, Edgars Rinkēvičs highlighted the political dialogue and business contacts between the two countries and their cooperation in international organisations. South Korea is an important partner to Latvia in Asia in the area of economic and political cooperation, the Foreign Minister noted. He added that Latvia and South Korea are like-minded countries that highly value democracy, rules-based international order and human rights. The Minister expressed satisfaction with having South Korea as one of key partners for economic cooperation in Asia. The Baltic States-South Korea Joint Committee on Economy has been working actively, and we hope that the certification of Latvian food products will be completed in the near future, said the Foreign Minister.
Moldova is one of the countries prioritised by Latvia in its development cooperation, the Minister noted. We have been providing support for Moldova through development cooperation for more than 15 years. This year, Latvia will focus its development cooperation activities on dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. We should continue to promote contacts and links between private companies in Latvia and Moldova, and we see potential as well in the field of information and communication technologies, underlined Edgars Rinkēvičs in a conversation with the Moldovan Ambassador.
During the meeting, the Latvian Foreign Minister welcomed the opening of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Latvia. The Minister said that he hoped to welcome the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan in Latvia, arranging the visit in conjunction with the official inauguration of the Embassy in Riga. Both countries should continue their cooperation in the transport sector. Latvia has special interest in Euro-Asian freight transportation and aviation; therefore, further work is needed on an air traffic agreement. We are also interested in developing cooperation in the education sector and, among other things, in attracting students to Latvian higher education institutions, the Foreign Minister noted.
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