On 27 September 2006, Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks opened the exhibition entitled InternationalRrecognition of the Renewal of Latvia's Independence in 1991 at the Riga Art Gallery, which presents 130 various documents from the archive of the Saeima (Latvian parliament), the State Archive of Latvia and the archive of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all attesting to the international recognition of the renewal of Latvia's independence in 1991.
Addressing the audience at the opening, Minister Pabriks said that, during 15 years of independence, Latvia has accomplished the impossible: regained its independence and strengthened it with excellence by joining the European Union and NATO and by becoming one of the most dynamically developing states in the EU. Mr Pabriks emphasized that during these 15 years a new generation has grown up, which will be responsible for the future of the country.
A special guest of the exhibition was Jon Baldvin Hannibalson, who was the Foreign Minister of Iceland in 1991. He expressed a hope that Latvia's membership in the European Union will be equally successful with the small EU countries of Luxembourg and Ireland. Mr Hannibalson emphasized that the study of the role of small countries in the international environment seems particularly interesting to him.
Latvia's first Foreign Minister after the regaining of independence, Janis Jurkans, noted that at present the most important task in the Latvian foreign policy is to achieve that the country's residents look less to the country's past, but instead seek to attain a better understanding of the international developments.
The Ambassador of Turkey to Latvia, Mr Duray Polat, presented Minister Pabriks with a copy of the Friendship Agreement between Turkey and Latvia signed in 1925, which was found in the Archive of Turkey's Foreign Ministry.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by those employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who participated in the process of the renewal of independence, and by foreign diplomats, Latvian government officials and other public figures. The exhibition in Riga Gallery will be open for viewing until 7 October.
Iceland was the first country to recognize Latvia's independence on 22 August 1991. The exhibition was prepared by the Archive Department of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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