Once again, Latvia calls for India to open an embassy in Rīga

On 14 January in New Delhi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and used the occasion - not for the first time - to invite India to open an embassy in Rīga.

"Edgars Rinkēvičs said he was pleased with the cooperation between Latvia and India and how it has become more intensive since the opening of a Latvian embassy in New Delhi in 2014, and he expressed hope that India could open its embassy in Riga in the near future. We would like to maintain the current high-level dialogue and exchange of visits, which is evidenced by the visit of the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, to Latvia last August, Edgars Rinkēvičs said, and he invited the External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India on a visit to Latvia," said a statement from the ministry, which added that from 2018 to 2019, more than 2,000 Indian students were studying in Latvia, a figure that means 25% of all foreign students are from India. 

A similar heavy hint about the need for an embassy was dropped in the direction of India as recently as last September, as reported by LSM at the time, and before that in 2017 the message was also the same, as also reported by LSM at the time.

Despite this, there appears to be no indication India intends to open an embassy in Latvia, though diplomatic relations betwen Latvia and India are developing rapidly. Indians residing in Latvia must currently liaise with their embassy in Sweden for consular sevices.

The ministers also discussed issues related to an EU-India free trade agreement, with Edgars Rinkēvičs voicing his hope concerning the intention to resume negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and India.

At the start of his working visit to the Republic of India, on 13 January, Edgars Rinkēvičs laid flowers at the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial, gave interviews to a newspaper, The Hindu, and to CNN India, as well as making a presentation at a book launch by Professor Sadhana Naithani, Folklore in Baltic History. Resistance and Resurgenceat the Embassy of Latvia. On 14 January, the Latvian Foreign Minister met with the Latvian Honorary Consul in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to discuss the promotion of business cooperation between Latvia and the region.

 

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