American Jewish Committee delegation meets top Latvian officials

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On 27 April 2022, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, met with the delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which has arrived in Latvia to mark the fifth anniversary of the AJC Central Europe Office.

The delegation is headed by the AJC President, Harriet P. Schleifer, and the Acting Director of the ACJ Central Europe Office, Sebastian Rejak.

"During the meeting, the parties exchanged views concerning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica informed the delegation about Latvia’s position and measures taken against the aggressor state as well as the support provided to Ukraine. The Parliamentary Secretary underlined, in particular, the importance of solidarity demonstrated by the international community as it continues providing all kinds of assistance to Ukraine, as well as standing up against Russia in various international formats and tightening sanctions," said an account of the meeting from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

"Members of the AJC delegation also strongly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and they underlined the importance of solidarity and stability of democratic values to offer resistance to Russia’s actions," the MFA said.

“There can be no sanctions relief until the war is stopped, Russian forces withdrawn, Ukraine’s territorial integrity restored and the issue of reparations addressed,” Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said.

The meeting also focused on cooperation between Latvia and the United States, and also addressed the issues related to cooperation between Latvia and the AJC. The AJC delegation welcomed Latvia’s efforts in promoting Holocaust remembrance and in combatting Antisemitism. Harriet P. Schleifer expressed thanks for the law adopted by Latvia on the compensation of goodwill to the Latvian Jewish community for the heirless property once owned by those who perished in the Holocaust, and lost due to the actions of the occupation regimes.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is one of the leading global Jewish organization established in 1906 to advocate for Jewish interests and promote understanding of Jewish history and critical issues. The organization has a number of regional offices, including the Central Europe Office in Warsaw, which serves six countries in the region, including Latvia.

The delegation has also been scheduled to meet with the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, on April 28, the Minister of Justice, and members of the Latvian Jewish diaspora organizations, as well as visit the Embassies of the United States and of Israel. After Latvia, the AJC delegation will visit Estonia. According to its website it "fights antisemitism and all forms of hate, strengthens Israel’s place in the world, and defends democratic values." 

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