Vējonis thanks Iceland for support in restoring Latvia's independence

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Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis thanked Icelandic President Guðni Jóhannesson for Iceland's support in August 1991 when Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania restored their independence, and Iceland was the first country in the world to recognize independence of the three Baltic states.

The President's Chancellery reported that today after the meeting with Jóhannesson, Vējonis said that Iceland's brave step is a proof how significant a decisive action of a small country on important moments can be.

"It is also a positive example that small countries may influence international processes. We often say in Latvia: "What can we do as a small country?", but Iceland has proved how small countries may influence processes," said Vējonis.

Vējonis also noted that Latvia and Iceland are cooperating in the Baltic and Nordic regions in various formats, including within NATO and the European Economic Zone.

"I would like to underscore cooperation within NATO because security challenges for the Baltics, Nordic countries and the Arctic region are very similar and closely related. During the meeting with the Icelandic president, we agreed that the decision made during the NATO Brussels summit on the NATO Atlantic Command are very important," said Vējonis.

Latvia also thanks Iceland for support through the European Economic Zone' s financial instrument, which is a chance to implement good projects with participation of business representatives both from Latvia and Iceland, local governments and communities.

Also, Vējonis congratulated Iceland with the 100th anniversary since Iceland gained sovereignty on December 1, 1918, that led to declaring full independence in 1944.

Icelandic President Jóhannesson is on a state visit to Latvia on November 15-18.

After meeting with the officials on Friday, the Icelandic president will deliver a lecture in the Small Hall of the University of Latvia. At the end of the first day of the visit, the presidents of both countries will attend a concert “Our Opera Marks 100”, which will be held within the framework of concert round “Born in Latvia” at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet House.

On Saturday, November 17, President Jóhannesson will attend a joint museum exhibition “Latvia’s Century” at the Latvian National Museum of History, then he will participate in a workshop on Iceland-Latvia cooperation in business, culture, and education hosted by the Embassy of Iceland and the Honorary Consulate of Iceland in Latvia in the afternoon.

On Sunday, November 18, the President of Iceland will take part in the festive events to mark the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia together with other high-profile guests.

Iceland was the first country in the world, which officially recognized the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia in 1991.

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