Latvia and Turkey discuss range of issues

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On August 16 2022, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, visited the Turkish capital, Ankara, as part of an official visit, and met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The officials discussed the bilateral and EU relations, relations between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, and security policy issues, especially Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cooperation within NATO.

“We value good bilateral relations, as well as regular and open dialog with Turkey. At a time when Russia is waging its war in Europe, close ties between allies have become even more important,” Rinkēvičs said, according to an MFA press release.

The Minister also thanked Turkey for its solidarity and support to Latvia in limiting the flow of third-country nationals to Belarus and for its decision to extend the visa-free stay of Latvian citizens in Turkey.

While discussing Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership, which was initially opposed by Turkey, Rinkēvičs drew attention to the fact that both countries have shown themselves to be reliable NATO partners, whose armed forces and their readiness fully meet the standards of the Alliance. 

“The rapid admission of both countries to NATO is an important national security issue for Latvia. At the same time, Latvia understands and recognizes Turkey’s legitimate security interests, which include condemning terrorism in all its forms. Latvia values the proper reflection of the threat of terrorism in the NATO Strategic Concept,” the Minister said.

Inevitably, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was also discussed during the meeting. Rinkēvičs welcomed Turkish diplomatic efforts, as well as Turkey’s support for the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly to ensure the agreement that has so far been reached on Ukrainian grain exports.

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