From 18 to 29 January 2021, the heads of Latvia’s diplomatic missions abroad and Latvian Ambassadors residing in Riga will have their annual meeting online to discuss the priorities and current tasks of the Foreign Service. According to tradition, the meeting will be opened by Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
The programme includes online discussions with the President of Latvia, Egils Levits; the Speaker of the Saeima (Latvian Parliament), Ināra Mūrniece; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Artis Pabriks; the Minister of Transport, Tālis Linkaits; the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Artūrs Toms Plešs; the Minister of Economy, Jānis Vitenbergs; the President of the Bank of Latvia, Mārtiņš Kazāks; the Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Kaspars Rožkalns; Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Ilze Znotiņa; and other government officials.
During the meeting, great attention will be paid to the issue of the future of Europe and Latvia’s contribution to the strengthening of the European Union. This discussion will also be joined by the main guest of honour of this year’s meeting, Uwe Corsepius, EU Affairs Adviser to the German Federal Chancellor. EU-related matters will also be discussed with Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the European Commission.
The Ambassadors will share opinions on last year’s events and current developments in Belarus with Valery Kavaleuski, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the leader of the Belarusian civil society, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
An exchange of views has also been planned about the promotion of exports of Latvian goods and services and on attracting and mobilising investments. Ambassadors will have an opportunity to become familiar with the work and products of one of Latvia’s leading high technology companies, HansaMatrix.
The Ambassadors will also look into security policy topics focusing on the NATO 2030 initiative, hybrid threats and arms control. In view of Latvia preparing to run for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, matters related to this process will also be discussed. German Ambassador to the United Nations, Christoph Heusgen, will share his experience of work on the United Nations Security Council.
With participation of Dmitry Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and Mikko Huotari, Executive Director of MERICS think-tank, the meeting will also address ongoing processes in Russia and China.
And, an important topic will be the implementation of the diaspora policy, based on the newly-approved Plan for Work with the Diaspora for 2021–2023.
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