Saeima speaker raises Greste case with Australian counterpart

Thanking Australia for its good bilateral cooperation with Latvia, Saeima Speaker Solvita Aboltina told her counterpart Bronwyn Bishop, Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives that Latvia’s Embassy in Cairo remains active in trying to secure the release of jailed Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste and his colleagues.

According to the Saeima press service, Aboltina is in Rome to take part in the 8th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP), where she had the chance to meet separately with Bishop.

Aboltina thanked the Australian House speaker for working jointly toward the common goal of getting Greste out of the Egyptian prison where he and Al Jazeera producers Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy have been held since December, and are now serving out multiple-year sentences following a widely-condemned show trial in June.

She also thanked Australia for supporting Latvia’s joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as one of the country’s prime foreign policy goals.

Aboltina praised the increase in political and economic cooperation between Australia and Latvia in recent years, as seen in close coordination between both states’ foreign ministry officials. The Saeima speaker proposed that work commence on an agreement to avoid double taxation as well as other bilateral matters.

As previously reported, Peter Greste, whose father Juris is a Latvian citizen, also enjoys dual Australian-Latvian citizenship, therefore Latvian state officials have spoken out repeatedly on his behalf, while Latvia's consular authorities in Egypt are supporting the Greste family in their legal and diplomatic efforts to free their son and his colleagues.

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