Members of the Saeima (Parliament of Latvia) – Rihards Kols (Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee; Chair of the group for promoting cooperation with the U.S. Congress), Mārtiņš Bondars (Chair of the Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee), Daniels Pavļuts (Secretary of the National Security Committee), and Ainars Latkovskis (Member of the Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee) – visited Washington, DC from December 5 to 7 to take part in the 12th Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum on Capitol Hill.
Topics of this year’s forum include foreign investment risks, cybersecurity, counterterrorism, cooperation between national security institutions, cryptocurrency risks, and other issues.
The parliamentary delegation also had several bilateral meetings. At the Embassy of Latvia, they met Ambassador Andris Teikmanis to discuss Latvia-United States relations. The MPs also met Peter Doran, President of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), to discuss topics related to NATO, Russia, Ukraine, and cooperation between Latvian and United States think-thanks.
The elected officials paid a visit to the U.S. Department of State to meet Ian Campbell, Director of Nordic and Baltic Affairs. Among meeting topics were Latvian-United States bilateral relations, security cooperation and promotion of economic ties.
At the U.S. Department of Treasury, the parliamentarians met with Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, to discuss progress made by the Latvian government and plans for the banking sector reforms, actions against financial crimes and money laundering, as well as the Saeima’s role in this area.
On June 19, 2017, the 8th Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum took place at the Saeima in Rīga, Latvia. More than twenty parliamentarians, professionals, experts and academia representatives gathered to discuss ways for dealing with current international security risks and transatlantic cooperation in this regard. The idea of the forum belongs to the U.S. Member of Congress Rep. Robert Pittinger who sought the strengthening of European and United States security cooperation.