American Latvian Association talks US new presidency

Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential election is good news for Latvia, said Pēteris Blumbergs, president of the Latvian American Association (ALA) in an interview with Latvian Radio.

Pēteris Blumbergs pointed to Biden's role in Latvia's NATO membership: “I think you all know Joe Biden very well, because he has a famous history [in relation to] Latvia. He was in the U.S. Senate foreign affairs commission at the time when he discussed NATO's expansion and Latvia's accession to NATO. I was associated with these events at that time and have met Biden.

He personally supported Latvia's inclusion in NATO.

People say Americans brag too much, but America's voice for Latvia to enter the alliance had a crucial part, and for that we can be grateful to Biden. And for that he has been awarded the Order of the Three Stars. That should be remembered.”

Biden was vice president during Barack Obama's presidency and visited Rīga in 2016. “[Biden] delivered the famous speech at the National Library of Latvia, in which he noted that America will always defend Latvia and follow the fifth article of the NATO Alliance, that all countries will protect one another. So, one might believe it will all be good, because Biden has a good past with us. Just as important are his advisers on foreign affairs. They have also been supporters of the NATO alliance and friends of Latvia,” ALA Chairman said.

Mārtiņš Andersons, Vice-President of ALA, said the American Government is not just the President. It is therefore important to assess ALA's past successful cooperation with the US Congress, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the organization that lobbies the Baltic interests.

ALA Chair Blumbergs believes that with the election, the American Latvian Alliance in Washington is also turning a new page because it will be necessary to seek contacts to communicate with the new government. It is therefore important to follow up on which people come to positions related to foreign affairs in hopes that these people are in favor of Latvia and support successful relations between Latvia and the US.

In the event that a person who is against NATO would be running for any significant foreign affairs post, ALA would immediately express its position and concern about it. 

Members of ALA discussed Rīga's development opportunities. Mārtiņš Andersons said that if Rīga is doing good, Latvia will also be doing good:

“I and my colleagues recently met virtually with the newly elected Mayor of Rīga, and he knows that we are prepared to cooperate. I cannot talk about specific projects at the moment, but one of the priorities of the American Latvian Alliance is Latvia's economic growth, which is possible in cooperation and meeting in the events we have organized.

It is in our interest that Rīga becomes a successful regional capital. The better Rīga will do, the better things will be for Latvia and Latvians.”

 

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