EU ties to Latin America need more work - Rinkēvičs

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs continued his mission to speak to as many different countries as possible during Latvia's European Union Presidency Tuesday, adding the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to his list.

In Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs took part in a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). In his address Rinkēvičs said he was glad that this important ministerial meeting and a summit starting Wednesday were taking place during the Latvian Presidency.

“We all are concerned by instability we see in the world. Under such circumstances, it is of special importance to cooperate for the protection of the principles of international order, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the rule of law and human rights. This is demonstrated by the developments in Ukraine and other regions across the globe,” Rinkēvičs emphasized.

“The escalation of international terrorism poses a serious problem. Appalling terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen shook the world. Terrorism and the phenomenon of foreign fighters call for a strong response at the global level and close sharing of information between national law enforcement institutions,” Rinkēvičs said before calling for the intensification of cooperation in the business and energy sector between the European Union and the Latin American and Caribbean states.

He added it is important that the EU, Latin America, and the Caribbean join efforts in the fight against drug trafficking, reducing both demand and supply.

At the meeting, the Foreign Ministers initialled a draft agreement on the establishment of the EU-Latin America Caribbean International Foundation.

The ministerial meeting of 9 June was part of the EU-CELAC Summit scheduled for 10–11 June in Brussels, at which Latvia will be represented by Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.

While in Brussels Rinkēvičs also met with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Mexico, José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, thanking Mexico for its support for Latvia’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

”We hope to finalise negotiations by the end of this year and to become full members of the OECD as from 2016,” Edgars Rinkēvičs said.

The Latvian Foreign Minister highlighted a successful example of Mexican investment in Latvia: CEMEX, a cement manufacturing company that has been providing a significant contribution to environmental protection, educational and cultural projects in Latvia.

He also invited his Mexican colleague to visit Latvia

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