French Ambassador: thanks for your support

France's ambassador to Latvia, Stephane Visconti, spoke to LSM Saturday giving his reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris and the hundreds of people who have stopped at the embassy to express their sympathies.

Speaking as people continued to place flowers and candles around the embassy steps and walls, Visconti said the support of officials and ordinary Latvians was appreciated.

French Ambassador Stephane Visconti

    Meanwhile, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis held a meeting of the National Security Council after which he emerged to repeat his condolences to the people of France and declare that flags should be flown in mourning on Sunday.

    He also reminded Latvians that the level of threat they faced from terrorism was not increased by the Paris attacks, and that "we are in control of the situation in the country."

    However he also signaled that taking in any additional refugees on top of the 531 already agreed would be impossible until Europe has introduced a secure system for doing so.

    "Latvia has carefully prepared to receive asylum seekers and will continue to work to fulfill the commitments it has made to date, Vejonis said."

    "I have repeatedly stressed that Europe needs an effective mechanism to send back [failed aslum seekers], strengthen external borders, and reinforce the fight against organized crime and people traffickers. Until this work is done in Europe, Latvia sees no opportunities for additional commitments for the resettlement of asylum seekers."

    At 4 p.m. around 200 people gathered at the French embassy in Riga to lay flowers and express solidarity with France.

    A handful of anti-immigrant protesters attempted to hold up placards during the course of the day but were told by police to move on.

     

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