Praise pours in for Latvia's Presidency

Take note – story published 8 years ago

Latvia's first-ever Presidency of the Council of the European Union may have finished nearly a month ago, but the weeks since then have been filled with other countries saying what a great job was done, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs have received many positive words for a successful organisation and running of the Presidency at high professional standards from colleagues in European Union Member States and other cooperation partners, including the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine and Germany," the statement said.

"The German Federal Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, recognised in his letter to Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs that, at the time when foreign policy and Europe’s policy is facing major challenges, Latvia has run its first Presidency of the EU Council in a very professional and independent manner and highlighted a number of important issues. He commended the engagement of the Latvian Presidency in the revision of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, putting promotion of relations with Central Asia considerably higher on the EU agenda.

"Frank Walter Steinmeier conveyed his personal thanks to Edgars Rinkēvičs for steady and close cooperation and said he was convinced that the major success of Latvia’s Presidency of the EU Council is also the result of the Minister’s persistent advocacy of a common European foreign policy.

"The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in turn highly appreciated Latvia’s ability to respond to unexpected challenges that the Presidency faced in the European Union, such as terrorist attacks in Paris and Denmark, as well as the question of refugees in the Mediterranean.

"The Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, expressed gratitude for the unwavering and consistent stance of the Latvian Presidency on the issue of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and Latvia’s active involvement in facilitating the relations between the EU and Ukraine. Evaluating the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, Foreign Minister Klimkin commended the commitment to ensure further development of the Eastern Partnership policy in the context of strengthening shared EU values in the region," the statement concluded.

The rotating six-month presidency is now held by Luxembourg until the end of the year.

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