Emsis: accession to NATO is a great day for our nation
On March 29 2004 Latvia's Prime Minister Indulis Emsis deposited Latvia's Accession instruments of the North Atlantic Treaty with the US State Department. During the ceremony, he acknowledged, "Latvia's accession to NATO is a great day for our nation. This is a celebration, the moment we have been waiting for a long time and fulfillment of a cherished goal."
Yesterday I. Emsis together with the Prime ministers of other six new NATO members handed in documents for the accession to the Alliance to the U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell. The representatives of the U.S. and NATO greeted the Prime Ministers of the new member states, including Mr. Emsis, with the accession to NATO.
The President of the United States George Bush thanked the Prime minister Emsis for the force contribution to the missions abroad. In turn, I. Emsis expressed his gratitude to the Government of the U.S. for its support during Latvia's integration into NATO.
During press conference at the National Press club, Russian News Agency ITAR-TASS wanted to know the position of the new member states on the treaty of Conventional Forces in Europe. I. Emsis anwered to this question by emphasizing, "Latvia has not excluded the possibility to join the treaty. But in order to do so, the treaty has to come into force. This has not happened, because Russia has not fulfilled Istanbul commitments concerning the presence of armed forces in Moldova and Georgia. Due to this, Latvia cannot join the treaty at the moment."
In the evening, together with other participants of the NATO Accession ceremony, I.Emsis took part in reception where he had a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Defence Donal Rumsfeld.
Today I. Emsis will visit Latvia's Embassy in the U.S.. The Prime Minister will arrive in Latvia on March 31 and will hold press conference about Latvia's accession to NATO in the VIP lounge of Riga Airport.