Minister cheers Moldova-EU partnership on visit

Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, on an official visit Thursday to Chisinau, congratulated the new government of Moldova and urged it to maintain “a strong political will” in pursuing reforms and partnering towards integration with the EU.

As one of the six Eastern Partnership countries spending a great deal of practical effort to follow a course of engagement and cooperation with the EU, “it is vital that Moldova move forward with reforms, especially in the fields of justice and finance, the fight against corruption, and improvements in the business and investment environment,” Rinkēvičs told the meeting of Moldovan officials, including Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici and his deputy minister for European integration Natalia Gherman.

Rinkēvičs praised the progress made as reported two weeks ago from the EU-Moldova Association Council meeting in Brussels and urged Moldova to send a large delegation of high-ranking officials and businesspeople to Riga’s Eastern Partnership Business Forum May 21.

He went on to say that trade between the two countries has grown in recent years, and promised that “Latvia will continue supporting Moldova’s reform process by regional development cooperation projects, maritime transport and education, as well as through sharing its experience in the EU.”

The foreign minister also called for the building of dialogue with the administration of the autonomous national-territorial unit Gagauzia, on the country’s southern borders with Romania and Ukraine. In addition, he said efforts should also be made to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict in the breakaway enclave of Transnistria in its effort to maintain the country’s territorial integrity.

Later Latvia’s chief diplomat met with representatives of Moldovan political parties both in power and in the opposition to learn more about developments there.

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