On 15 July 2021, the Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Atis Lots, welcomed a farewell visit from the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Latvia, Hugo Brauwers.
The Under Secretary of State highly appreciated the Ambassador’s contribution to enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries and highlighted the close cooperation between Latvia and the Kingdom of Belgium: 100 years ago, in 1921, Belgium was one of the first European states to recognise Latvia de jure.
Atis Lots noted that Latvia has good cooperation with Belgium in traditional sectors such as the timber industry, and transport and logistics; cooperation is being launched as well in the fields of smart technology – renewable energy resources, and information and communication technologies. Furthermore, Latvia is interested in cooperating with Belgium’s regions of Flanders and Wallonia, especially in education, culture, digitalisation, and the energy sector.
Atis Lots thanked Belgium for its contribution to security in the Baltic region. Belgium is an important partner to Latvia in the field of security and defence – both bilaterally and in NATO, the EU and other international organisations. In addition, active cooperation with Belgium is also underway in the Baltic-Benelux cooperation format.
The Under Secretary of State also mentioned the developments in relation to a monument, “Latvian Beehive for Freedom” in the town of Zedelgem in Belgium. Atis Lots noted that an erroneous interpretation of those historical events has appeared in the Belgian media, and he called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium to engage with the Zedelgem municipality in the resolution of the problem. In this respect, the municipality’s communications should be strengthened with the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and the Latvian Embassy in Belgium, the Under Secretary of State of the Foreign Ministry pointed out.
Ambassador Hugo Brauwers was accredited to Latvia on 10 October 2017 and he resides in Stockholm.
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